We are discussing in this series of articles how we can develop the hearts of our children toward godliness and Christian character, no matter what their age or grade level.  Let’s get even more practical.  This is where the rubber meets the road, isn’t it?

 

The things that we love, our children will love.  If our lives are absorbed with vices, evil thoughts, malicious behavior, bad company, and/or wrong actions, our children will have a harder time doing what is right and good.  Evil and wrong will be that much more attractive.  On the other hand, starting with repentant hearts, as we embrace the love of God, doing good works in the name of Jesus Christ, living a life of prayer, giving to others, showing compassion, being filled with grace, forgiving others, and worshipping our Maker, we will speak volumes to our children.  All these actions will influence our children to do likewise.  In short, as already stated, we must live a consistent Christian life before our children.

 

During the early years, we can instill principles of Christian virtue that are imperative for incubating essential concepts in their formative minds and hearts.  How do we do that?  Here are some practical ways. 

 

Give your kids materials that reinforce a Christian world-view.  (Exactly how we recommend doing that is explained further in Chapter Three of our book, Guiding Toward a Christian Worldview.)  Include Bible reading as a part of their curriculum on a daily basis.  Read to them books by famous Christian authors. Obviously, going to church together and participating in Christian activities regularly is vital.  Become involved in missions together.  Take a mission trip as a family; we have done it twice, and we are planning to do it again shortly.  To learn more about potential missions trips for home schoolers, look at our Web site, www.davidandlaurie.com. 

 

While our children were growing up, we regularly read them books like C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Josh McDowell's Don't Leave Your Brains At the Door, as well as regular readings of scriptures.  Read together at the breakfast or dinner table. 

 

Make sure to pray as a family.  During times of personal or family crisis, make sure you include times of family prayer, asking God to bring relief and providence to your regular life situations.  If during this current national terrorist war you are not praying together, you are failing in this area.  (As one of David’s early mentors taught him, let’s call a spade, a spade, and not a horticultural instrument.)  These will be tremendous reminders to them later of the power of God in our lives.