by Misty Umholtz
I read a quote once that will impact me as a parent for the rest of my days. At the end of his life, the man said he wished he had spent more time praying for himself than he did praying for his kids.
Now, I pray that my kids will love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind and strength. I pray that they will walk with the Lord all the days of their life never turning away from the straight and narrow path. I pray that they would know the voice of God and the presence of the Lord from a very young age. I pray that they would have a natural bent to the things of God and have a desire for purity, righteousness and the ways of the Lord. I pray that they will have a love for the Word of God, prayer and worship. I pray that their first love would be Jesus.
And that is all good. But you know what is even more important as a parent? It is imperative that I am praying all of those things for myself. It is more powerful if I am a living example of what I want my kids to become. If I can say to them as Paul did, “Follow my example, as I follow Christ.” ( 1 Corinthians 11:1)
And if we need help growing in our own relationship with God, we need to seek out a mentor so that we can follow them as they follow Christ. We have to be bold and keep asking godly women until we find one that has time to teach us the ways of the Lord so we can turn around and teach our kids how to follow God.
Our kids will inevitably learn their alphabet, numbers, math, reading and they will pick up many other skills along their path in this life. But who is going to teach them how to fear and honor God in all they say and do? Who is going to teach them how to enter into the presence of God and worship Him in spirit and truth? Who is going to teach them how to pray and believe for miracles? Who is going to teach them how to be still and wait on God? Who is going to teach them how to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading? Who is going to teach them how to study and research the Bible to find the will of God for their lives?
If we think that taking them to church for one hour once a week will instill all of this into their little hearts and minds, we are sadly mistaken. God says for us, the parents, to teach our kids at all times of the day, when we wake and go to sleep, when we walk and when we eat, and all the times in between. (Deuteronomy 6:2-9)
We can pray and ask God to show us every day how we can teach our kids about Him in creative ways.
Christian bookstores have excellent resources. They have kids’ devotionals and all kinds of Bibles for every age group. They also carry great picture books, CDs, and DVDs to help with the spiritual enrichment of our children. The Bible says faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of God, (Romans 10:17), so we need to saturate their little eyes and ears with things for the kingdom of heaven. We can fill our homes with educational and age-appropriate material that will capture their attention.
Here are some other ways we can teach them about God in our day-to-day lives:
- Family prayer time and family devotionals and Bible reading. If your husband isn’t comfortable doing it, just invite him to sit in while you do it.
- Pray out loud in the car, while we take a walk, as we do the dishes and laundry. Let our kids hear what we pray for. Turn on our own worship music in the house or car and let our kids see how we worship God.
- Teach them one or two line Bible verses every week or month starting as soon as they can talk. God says how can a young man keep his way pure? By hiding God’s Word in his heart. (Psalms 119:9) We can get these verses out of our own Bible reading, our kid’s books or Bible reading, or from church. I give my kids one M&M for each verse they memorize, so they love doing them! We can also make up hand movements and songs for them as well.
- Build time into their schedule from a young age to be able to have their own quiet time with God. Teach them how to pray, read their Bibles or picture books and turn on their own kid’s worship music.
- Keep a prayer journal for them until they are old enough to write in it themselves. Record what and who we pray for so we can expectantly wait for God to answer.
- Talk about characteristics and attributes of God as we see His creation all around us. Thank Him for animals, flowers, rain, the ocean, etc.
- Put on a kid’s praise and worship DVD and have a dance party in the living room.
This is a call to rise up, women of God, and answer the question, who will teach your kids how to walk with God? With creative ideas and the power of the Holy Spirit, you can do it.
Misty Umholtz loves being a wife and mom of two small children. She enjoys ministry and she also likes football, which should win her an award for “dream wife.” But on the other hand, her love for shopping might disqualify her from that possibility. You can read more about Misty on her blog, Finding Meaning in the Mayhem.