How to Help Your Kids Bloom Spiritually
By Rebekah Bullard
Being a parent is one of the most challenging, messy, rewarding and adventurous things we get to do on this Earth. While the parenting wins can leave us feeling elated; the day-to-day can also leave us feeling exhausted, and even inadequate at times. It is a rewarding and unexpected ride. It is a big job and it can be hard to know what to do, where to focus and which voices to trust.
Here’s the real truth — No matter what we do as a parent, we can’t do it all.
What if you gave yourself permission to quit trying to do everything and focus on one thing?
What if you chose to invest in the most important things God says about your role as a parent?
How would things change in your home?
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 says “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
How do you find windows of time to teach your kids to love God and His ways?
Here are three things to help:
1. Care for Your Heart
One of the best ways you can love your child well is by loving Jesus well.
Kids are perceptive. When you are intentional about your relationship with Jesus, you will show your kids it matters. When they see you give space on your calendar to something, they will know how important it is to you.
Your children may forget most of what you tell them, but they will never forget the way you treat yourself and them.
I took Spanish for 2 years and could hardly speak a word, but 2 weeks on a mission trip to Mexico taught me more than a classroom ever could. Most of what your kids will live out in their own life is what they pick up from how you live yours.
Honoring God in front of your kids can look like:
- Speaking with love and patience to them and about others.
- Letting your kids see you struggle. Admit when you mess up and ask for forgiveness.
- Your willingness to share about when God helped you through a tough situation.
- Being filled with grace.
- Reading God’s word in front of them and to them.
- Allowing other godly people into the lives of your kids.
- Your ability to be generous.
- The way you react when they mess up.
- Loving your spouse well. (If you are married)
2. Find the Natural Rhythms
You certainly don’t need to sit down for a solid, uninterrupted time to teach the truth to your kids. Leverage natural times when you are already with your kids. Simply use that time to point them to who God is and who He says they are. If you do want to talk with them, pray with them and share stories you have during drive time and bedtime. If you want to act out the stories and make the stories come to life, you have bath time and playtime.
You can also find natural opportunities to speak into your kids, who they are in Christ. You can tell them the same thing every morning. We tell our daughter in the mornings, “You are more than a conqueror in Christ. You are a Jesus girl. You are so loved. Be a bright light!” And in the evenings we say things like, “You are a prayer warrior. God has big plans for you. There is nothing you can ever do to take away our love and God’s love.”
3. Guard Protected Time
Though our family at times can be busy, we do our best to have protected time. We choose times to rest and connect. We have no timetable and no requirements. We only do things that give us life. Sometimes this is a whole 24 hours. Sometimes this is only half a day. Sometimes it is 30 minutes. We take what we can get when we can get it.
We serve a creative God, allow yourself to get creative!
- Use movies as opportunities to talk about ideas like redemption, rescue and faith.
- Play a board game, a card game or a sport together and then spend some time encouraging each other in the fruit you see like patience, kindness, self-control and joy.
- Get on the level of your child. To teach them how to live out truth, you need to know their world. If it feels awkward, you are probably doing something right.
We best show our kids how valuable they are to Christ when we are able to fully engage with their hearts.
When we take uninterrupted time with our kids, unexpected connections will occur.
Reggie Joiner, one of the most influential strategists for engaging kids towards Christ, gives us a simple hope for the “blooming” process. He says, “For a child to know God, they must first know an adult who knows God.”
There is no greater investment you will ever make than helping your kids bloom in their relationship with Christ.
They are your legacy and the future of our church. Make it count.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Rebekah loves to call Nashville “home,” but she is a Texas girl to the core and firmly believes that there is not much chips and salsa can’t fix. Rebekah spends her time as a full-time working mama leading teams and partnering with families in ministry, while also walking beside her dreamer husband to the ends of the Earth. She is passionate about seeing people step into the confidence of all that God has calling them to be and creating places of community where people can say, “Me too.” Rebekah has been married to Chris, her college sweetheart, for 10 years. They have one beautiful daughter, Gracie Ann. She serves as the Kids Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville and writes about looking for hope in the unlikely places at www.rebekahbullard.com.
Author: Emily B. Cummins
Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.