With your responsibility to minister to children and families, have you ever wondered how to make faith in God a family affair?
There’s nothing like God’s Word.
What other sacred text can be described as alive and active (as in Hebrews 4:12)? How incredible is it that ancient words are relevant in our modern age? And what a gift that a book with such depth is also simple enough for kids!
FAITH IN GOD IS MEANT TO BE A FAMILY AFFAIR
The Israelites in Deuteronomy were instructed to diligently teach their children the ways of the Lord, and that stands true today. Jesus blessed children and taught that faith like a child was necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven. So we encourage and equip one another to grow together in faith as a family.
But, the thing is, kids and adults learn differently. What exactly does it mean to have childlike faith?
We can look to Jesus as our teacher, as He used stories and experiences to help His followers understand the kingdom of God.
We all love a good story, and the Bible is full of true tales of creation, adventure, love, intrigue, danger and battles. Christ used parables to explain difficult concepts.
Our kids need stories. They need to understand what is historical and what is symbolic, such as parables or prophecy. Kids also need guidance to navigate pages of Scripture at an age-appropriate pace. See? Faith in God is meant to be a family affair.
Parents are a tour guide through the complex Word of God, building a foundation of understanding, beginning with the cornerstone that is Christ. Begin by telling the stories. The narrative of the gospel is captivating, and stories were made to settle into our memory and remain in our hearts at every age.
Kids also need experiences to help them grasp challenging concepts and to boost memory. Adults benefit from this learning style, too! Jesus not only demonstrated healing, but He involved the disciples in miracles, too. The bread and wine of the last supper became an object lesson to prepare for the crucifixion and resurrection. Not only would the disciple carry with them the memory of that night in the upper room, but the taste of wine and smell of bread likely brought them right back to those sacred moments. Our senses are powerfully connected to our minds by God’s design. And hands-on activity will reinforce a lesson much stronger than hours of lecture and note-taking. Of course, kids are hard-wired for activity, so it’s incredibly necessary to adapt to—and take advantage of—their natural energy and reach their hearts with the love of God.
So what might this look like?
Every family is different, so of course we all approach the word of God in our unique, fearfully and wonderfully made ways. But here are a couple of ideas for family devotional time.