Friday, July 5, 2013

Tips on developing a strong Christian life {in your small child}

I want to start by saying...

I'm no saint.  I have many, many shortcomings and failures.  I'm just a mama (of 5) who loves God and wants to instill that love deep in her little ones.... while they are little.
1. Let them hear Scripture every day.  When in our regular schedule, we read or listen to some small devotion every morning.  Our personal favorite is Uncle Charlie's Keys for Kids.    You can get the devotions emailed to you or you can listen to Uncle Charlie read them.  We are strong believers in the KJV and you can check the box to get them in this version.  They also offer retro episodes new each week and these devotions and stories are from the files over 30 years ago.   The music is great for kids and we often listen to the retro episodes and singing while the girls are doing their morning chores.  This helps them learn new Bible songs.

2. Instruction them and encourage them to memorize Scripture.  I was recently very convicted about my own self falling behind in this.
Example: The ice cream truck drove by our house playing a {tinny} little tune over it's loudspeakers. This is the universal tool for ice cream men to draw people out of their homes.  It was the same verse over....and over...and over.  I personally don't know how he stood it.  Anyways, I sang the words of the song to my girls, "do your ears hang low, do they wobble to the flow?  Can you tie them in a knot?  Can you tie them in a bow?....etc)  After singing it to my girls TWICE, they can sing the song by themselves without any help.
Children's minds catch and hold things so much better than my 30 year old mind.  One way for them to memorize that really works for us, I write Scripture on paper and tape them around eye level where they walk and on their bathroom mirror.

3. Supervise their prayer life.  This is work.  This is our responsibility.  Prayer life is more than praying for your supper.  Listen to them pray and let them hear you pray.  I teach my girls the steps for praying are.
a. confess sins (specific ones like ignoring a chore or mean words to sister) and say you're sorry
b. say thank you for your blessings or something special that day (again make them be specific)
c. ask for help, guidance, or protection
Being specific helps them not just develop a prayer life that is "Now I lay me down to sleep..."  They are talking to a real listening God!

4. Disciple...discipline....discipline. "...make them mind, make them work, make them answer cheerfully and quickly and respectfully to their father and mother."

5. Make up your mind that children of Christians cannot do some things that other people's kids do.  Decide for them now that they must keep good company.  I don't belief in shutting them away from society.  There are plenty of activities that are wholesome and fun to do without hurting or soiling your testimony.

6.  Regular attendance at church services ought to be the almost unbreakable rule.  "Oh, you're sick?  If we were going to a party you'd still want to go.  So you're going to church."  End of story.

7.  Children should tithe.  They should learn from the first birthday card with a dollar inside that with money comes responsibility.

Inspiration for these steps are from  (Dr. Rice, Here is My Question.. by Evangelist John R. Rice, copyright 1962)


Chris and Carole said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing about Uncle Charlie. I grew up listening to him! I can't wait to introduce my children to him!

Shelly said...

Terrific post, Maria. We used Keys for Kids too and that was years ago.

A great way for kids to memorize scripture is to use a cd of scripture set to music. Even your younger ones will pick right up on scripture this way. I have no idea what is available for kids now, but know there used to be cassette tapes of KJV scripture set to music when I was still in mommy mode. :)

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