God in the Everyday Life
- Jenny Veleke <i>Contributing Writer</i>
- 2004 11 Nov
"You shall put these words of Mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise." Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NIV)
"Mommy, how come all the songs we listen to have God in them?" Ross asked one afternoon from the back seat. My children and I spend a great deal of time in the car running errands, going to homeschool classes and outings, visiting Daddy at work. In those moments, I have their attention more than I do at home. They are not distracted by toys or television or the computer. In the car, they are a captive audience. I choose to seize the opportunity to teach while they are listening. We have a large collection of tapes in our car of Bible stories, kid praise songs, instrumental hymns and contemporary Christian music. The kids have free reign over which tape we will listen to, a freedom I am comfortable in giving them since all the tapes have good content. Because they choose the tape, they are more apt to listen to it and therefore learn and be influenced by it.
The tapes in my car are one of many examples of how to teach your children about God in your everyday life. Children need to see God not just as someone we worship on Sunday morning, but as Lord of our life, fully incorporated into every aspect of our day. My goal is for my children to see God as an active and constant part of my life. This will never happen if God's name is never mentioned in my home, if the Bible sits on the shelf unopened, if prayers never lift from our house to heaven's door. It is impossible to teach your children how to serve God with all your heart, soul and mind without living it out in your own life.
In Deuteronomy 11:19, God instructs us to teach our children His commandments by "talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise." There are many ways to put this into practice in your own home.
Pray With Your Children
1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to "pray without ceasing". Prayer should be an integral part of our lives. Make it a point to pray with your children at the start of the day, at mealtimes and when you tuck them in at night. Pray during the day for protection as you travel, Daddy as he works, your children as they learn at school. Remember to pray in thanks to God as well for all He provides for you and your family. Teach your children that prayer is a conversation with God that can be anytime, anywhere, about anything. We have a mighty privilege in coming to our Heavenly Father with the little things as well as the big things.
Read Scripture With Your Children
2 Timothy 3:16, 17 tells us that "all scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work". Read the Bible daily with your children. Let them see you regularly have a quiet time with God. Refer to scripture often to discern God's position on situations you face as a family. Memorize scripture with your children. The Bible is God's love letter to His children. If we do not read it, we not only do not know what He expects of us, we also miss out on all the promises and blessings He gives us if we only ask for them.
Have a Servants Heart
Teach your child to serve others first. Mark 10:43-45 says "but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many". In teaching our children to be Christlike, we must teach them to be servants. In a world where "me first" is the prevailing attitude of society, this can be a difficult thing to do. Our example will speak volumes in ways that our words alone will not be able to do.
As in all things, the key is consistency. We cannot profess a love for our Savior and only show that love on Sunday. We cannot proclaim God as Lord of our life and live as master of our own universe. To have a truly genuine relationship with God requires daily interaction. To teach our children to have a truly genuine relationship with God requires teaching them at home and away, when they lie down and when they rise.
Father God, help us to teach our children about You. Let them see in our lives a heart full of devotion to the Father, honoring You in all we do. We ask for Your help as we teach our children to love You, not only at church on Sunday, but in our everyday lives.