When I was in the first grade, I remember an interesting story that occurred in my class about lunchbox notes. We would bring our lunches to school every day and eat at our desks, while our teacher would eat at her desk. One day, a girl named Emily went up to our teacher with a small folded note and asked if she would read it to her. The teacher looked over the note and began to read it in front of the class. It was a sweet note written by Emily’s mom. Emily beamed while the teacher read her note and proudly sat back down at her desk to finish her lunch.
Now we will discuss a final way to reach our children’s hearts and that is through prayer. In Acts we learn that the early disciples devoted themselves to prayer. (Acts 2:42) We also know that the prayer of a righteous (mom) is powerful and affective, so praying for our children’s hearts is arguably the most important thing we can do.
Today we will be discussing a fourth way to reach our children’s hearts: Teaching a Dependence on God.
We live in an independent world where we grow up in a culture with a “Do it yourself” mentality. Independence is seen as a strong, desirable trait, and dependence as a weak one. But in the Kingdom of God, things are reversed. God’s Word says to rely on the Lord for everything. In fact, this builds our relationship with God when we depend on Him.
As parents we want our kids to have a relationship with God and follow in His ways, but their hearts have to be open to receiving truth and desiring a relationship with God. This is why it is SO IMPORTANT that we cultivate the heart of our children to desire this from a young age. We have been discussing 5 Ways to Lead Your Children’s Hearts to Christ, and we talked about the first way: Keeping Distractions at Bay a few weeks ago. If you missed this post, you can go back and read it here before moving on. It has some great preventative measures to help keep our children from getting distracted from their relationship with God.
Distractions can keep our children from loving and following God with all their hearts. The first type includes things that are good but that can become idols. For example, when our kids are more focused on their peer-group or favorite activities than on God, it is easy to let these “good things” become number one in their life and take the place of God.
The second type of distractions include negative influences that can lead our children into sin or believing things contrary to God’s truth. If our children are around these type of influences, the enemy can use them to pull our kids away from their growing relationship with Christ.
When the school year starts, a lot of transitions happen, and it’s easy to loose site of what is most important for our kids-their growing relationship with the Lord. It’s good to take a step back as the school year begins and proactively set the stage for the year, so our children continue to grow in their faith, relationship with God, and character.
I’m excited to interview author Janice Thompson! She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children’s books and more. Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing.
Parenting isn’t easy. Teaching our kids to show respect, be kind to their siblings, live a life of contentment, and demonstrate a heart to serve others can feel like an uphill battle. There are so many distractions warring for our children’s hearts, but it is our goal as parents to lead their hearts away from those distractions and straight to the Lord. Only Jesus, by His saving grace and Holy Spirit can make a true heart change happen with our children. With that being said, here are five practices to help lead your children’s hearts to Christ.
Some of my favorite Christian chapter books for kids (and for myself) are allegories. There is something special about a good allegorical story with a hidden message that not only draws the reader into the adventure, but also teaches Biblical truths in powerful ways. Jesus used parables (similar to allegories) as one of His primary ways of teaching, and look at the impact the stories have made on so many! I don’t think I would appreciate Jesus’ heart for “the lost” if it wasn’t for the story of The Lost Sheep, or God’s overwhelming forgiveness if it wasn’t for The Prodigal Son, or even our call to truly serve others without hearing the story of The Good Samaritan. These stories help us understand and connect on an emotional level with the heart of God. Similarly, there are also many great chapter books written as allegories to help our children understand God and His ways.