When I started teaching in children’s ministry, I became very convicted about “doing” God’s Word if I was going to teach it.
How could I teach these little kids to be brave because God is with us, when the other day I was screaming and hiding from a wasp that flew in my house. (okay, so I have an irrational fear of bugs)
How could I tell them to “go and make disciples” when I hadn’t been focused on sharing my faith.
I began to really pray and ask God for help to do the very things I knew I would be teaching. The last thing I wanted was to be a hypocrite- up on stage teaching things that I myself had not been doing.
The same goes for teaching our kids at home. We might be great at doing a family devotion time, but are we remembering to practice what we learn? And what a better way to practice than together as a family!
Our church culture is very good at waking up on Sunday morning and hearing a good sermon, but how often are we out there actually doing the things we were just taught?
One of our favorite family Bible verses says it best.
“But don’t just listen to God’s Word. You must do what it says.” James 1:25 NLT
Most of the stories we hear in the Bible are of Jesus not just teaching others, but actually doing the very things He was teaching! And not only that, He had his disciples out there doing those things right along with Him!
So how can we model Jesus by not just teaching our children, but also doing the things we are teaching along side of them?
Next time you have your family Bible time or ask your kids what they learned at church, remind them of what James 1:25 says and ask them what they can do from what they just learned. Keep each other accountable, and ask next time you meet how they did with those action steps. Some of those actions might be things you can do together as a family, which allows you to teach them by example.
On the flip side, when you come across an opportunity to serve, think of a Bible verse that shows why this service is “doing” God’s Word, and remind your children that this is an opportunity to do God’s Word together. This will help them connect service with a purpose.
Here are some examples to think on, and as you pray, I am confident that God will give you great ideas of your own for your family!
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..” James 1:27 NIV
- do some yard work without pay for an elderly neighbor who has lost her husband
- foster a child or donate money/clothing to an orphanage
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14 NIV
- pray for a family member or friend who is sick, or invite them to your church’s prayer service where they can have elders pray over them
“Serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV
- practice serving family members by making them a snack, doing one of their chores for them, or helping them in some way
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42 NIV
- sponsor a child and share with your kids how this is like “giving a cup of cold water” to a little one
- volunteer with your kids at a homeless shelter or a Bible club in a low income neighborhood where you can pass out snacks and drinks to the kids
Okay, I think you get the point. Let’s get out there and do God’s Word with our kids!