Hello and welcome to a new series, Building a Quiet Time with Your Kids. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be taking a look at what God’s word says about developing the spiritual lives of your kids and how to get them excited to delve into God’s word on their own.
No, I don’t have kids yet, but I was one once and I’ve worked with kids and teens a lot over the past 10 years. I know what an impact a regular devotion time with the Lord has meant in my walk, and I want to empower families to build meaningful, lasting quiet time habits with their kids.
So first things first, let’s open the Bible.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
From these words in Deuteronomy 6, we see that instilling a love for God and his word in kids is a process that happens all the time, inside and outside of the house. It happens at bedtime, during lunch, on trips to the library and on family vacations. It happens in the moments when you least expect it, and sometimes it doesn’t happen when you do expect it. Regardless, this process involves talking about God’s word, demonstrating God’s word, and writing down God’s word.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.
God’s commandments needed to be impressed first on you, the parents, before you impress them on the kids. Kids are always, always watching. In addition to large memories from my childhood, I remember the tiniest details about my parents. I remember my dad’s cologne and how it made our Honda Accord smell. I remember my mom’s rabbit cookie jar and her curling my bangs. As parents, you fill your kid’s vision and scope of life more than any other adult. If they don’t see you reaching for you Bible, praying over issues as they come up and talking about the things of God, they won’t make it a priority because they don’t see you making it a priority.
Growing up, I remember the Bible being a consistent theme in my life. We constantly played praise music in the car (my dad played on the worship team at church so we had an abundance of music). And what I learned at church was reinforced at home, and reinforced at school for the couple of years that I attend private school. My parents’ Bibles were well-marked and worn, and even when we would visit my Grammy or her mom, my great-grandmother, their Bibles were often out on a nearby table with a pen, journal, or Bible study book. They prayed with me, for me, and talked about scriptures. Their spiritual life was evident, even to a little kid. It was not hidden.
When my mom began homeschooling my brother and I, each day started off with a Bible study and I saw how God could be seamlessly woven into every part of my life. He wasn’t just for Sundays.
Tie them as symbols…bind them on your foreheads.
The question I would pose to parents is do you have a hidden quiet time, or a visible quiet time to your kids?
I know it’s hard to find uninterrupted time with little ones, and so “quiet time” may look very different for a season of your life. But the point is your kids shouldn’t have to look far to see how you spend time with God.
Talk & Write
How do you incorporate talking about God and his word in your daily life? It’s in these conversations that kids make the connection between the Bible and everyday life. They begin to see they can pray for the sick people they know, share their toys or snacks, or tell the truth about who broke Grandma’s vase. You don’t always have to have a sit-down devotion in order to impart something worthwhile. More often than not, it is in those passing moments that a bigger truth is forever imprinted on a little heart.
Seeing Scriptures or lyrics to worships songs written out around the house is another way to constantly keep these truths in front of kids. There was a little embroidered verse in the entryway of our home: Joshua 24:15. It declared to all who entered that we served God above all, and I can still picture it to this day. Images like these reinforce what they learn and make it easier to remember. And if they don’t quite understand what the verses mean, it’s a great way to open conversation to talk about the things of God.
Every family is different, every season is different, and spiritual needs vary from kid to kid. But all the more reason to dive into God’s word and let it bear fruit in your family.
Like this post? Then check out my devotional book for girls ages 10+! It’s perfect for helping the young girls in your life develop a quiet time of their own.