Babies through teenagers need to develop their own belief system. With the removal of prayer from various settings and the moral shifts in society, it is key that parents introduce prayer and communication with God to their children at a young age. Your home must be a safe haven of core beliefs that your family hold on to in good times and in bad. The ups and downs of life require consistency and that consistency will come from your families core beliefs. Many families are rushing through daily life. We need to slow down and purposely train our children.
Here are a few ways to introduce, encourage and help your child maintain a prayer life and develop standard core beliefs that will help them walk through life.
Pray with your children:
Set up a prayer time with your family. It can be in the morning or in the evening. Keep this time to about ten minutes. This is a simple time of asking God to bless your children and family. Encourage your children to take a turn expressing to God in words their desires and requests. Lastly, take a minute together as a family to thank God daily for His provision, for each other, for His goodness, etc.
Read the Bible Together:
Take the time weekly to set up a focus Bible scripture. This scripture will be your family focus through the week. A great spot to place the scripture is on the fridge and a great time to read it together is over a snack or meal. Proverbs and Psalms are great books to start with. You can choose a scripture that will help form a moral foundation pertaining to a certain character trait such as kindness. Such as: Prov 3:3-4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you. You can go to biblegateway.com and put any word such as anger, kindness, purity, obedience, children and it will give you various scriptures based on that one word. You are the moral agent for your child and establishing that the Bible is truth is a key part of giving your child a moral guide for every day life.
Set up times to talk together. Let it be fun times. Go out for ice cream as a family and hang out eating and talking. Situations and discussions will give you a chance to hear areas of needed growth in your child’s life. Hear them out, encourage them and offer to pray with them later about these issues. Pointing them to God will help them to have a spiritual compass they will begin to direct their hopes and fears and daily needs to God. You will begin to see your child point you and other family members to God. You will begin to see evidence in their speech of their belief in God strengthening.
Your family will begin to see a strengthened bond with one another as you apply these simple steps. You will see poor behavior patterns begin to change and you will see answers to the prayers that you pray together as a family.