Teaching Our Kids to Honor God
My grandsons came for a sleepover recently. I served their favorite breakfast—chocolate chip pancakes. Before they dug into their food, I said, “Let’s pray, boys. Let’s thank Jesus for our food.” The threesome immediately quieted their voices, folded their hands, and closed their eyes. Their respect for the Lord and for spiritual matters warmed my heart.
When their dad was the same age as they are now, I prayed that he and his two younger sisters would develop a healthy respect for God. I believed that everything of significance in their lives would fall into place if they honored Him above all else. I knew this heart attitude would influence every decision, every action, and every word spoken. Ultimately it would lay a strong foundation of wisdom—an all-important key to living well. And as their mom, I naturally wanted them to live an effective life, one filled with peace and joy, and bearing a positive influence on others.
Helping my children develop an appropriate respect for God required intentionality. Besides praying that He would instill within their hearts a healthy fear of Himself, my husband and I also took the following three actions to reach the goal:
- We modeled honor for God. All our efforts would have proven useless if we hadn’t practiced what we preached. Our message and our example had to align. When we blew it with the kids, we asked for forgiveness from both them and the Lord, and we acknowledged our need for His help to do better next time. Doing so taught our children about God’s holiness, mercy, and forgiveness.
- We prayed as a family. We did so on a regular (almost daily) basis, not just when we hit a crisis. Together we asked God to supply our needs and give us wisdom, and we regularly thanked Him for all He had already done. This taught our kids that God faithfully provides and that we’re to express gratitude for His goodness.
- We praised God as a family. On little strips of colored paper, I wrote Bible verses that specifically mentioned God’s love, faithfulness, wisdom, and holiness. I then placed those papers in an empty jam jar and set it on our kitchen table. Every morning during breakfast, one person read a verse from the jar. Then we’d each say a sentence prayer of praise focusing on the attribute mentioned. This tradition helped our children understand God’s character as revealed in His Word.
Approximately ninety percent of youth growing up in Christian homes walk away from the faith after high school graduation. Do you think this statistic would drop if they truly respected the Lord? I believe so. Together we can make it happen as we pray and then do our part to teach our children about who God is.
By: Grace Fox is a popular international speaker, global worker, and the author of eight books including 10-Minute Time Outs for You and Your Kids: Stories, Scriptures, and Prayers You Can Share Together. She’s the mother of three married children and grandma to six precious kiddos. Visit www.gracefox.com to order her books and resources. You can also subscribe to her newsletter and devotional blogs there.
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