Connecting on a Spiritual Level With Your Child
Jennifer SlatteryAuthor and speaker Jennifer Slattery has addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation and her love for seeing others embrace freedom in Christ is evident in each of her six contemporary novels and on her devotional blog, JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As Founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit with Jennifer on Facebook at JenSlatte.
- 2019 Feb 26
I’m not a fan of parenting horror stories. My what-if brain doesn’t need any help. What I need to hear, rather, is not what can or has gone wrong but rather, what I can do to parent well.
Though I know there’s no guarantees when it comes to children, I’ve learned every story goes haywire when left on its own. But one that’s crafted with love, patience, consistency, and truth? Now those are memory-making ingredients.
If you’re a parent, you may be familiar with Deuteronomy 6:6-9, which says,
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (ESV).
This passage is more than a command. It’s an invitation to draw near to our children on a heart-to-heart level as we share the deepest part of who we are—our faith. It’s an invitation to connect, to explore, and rest in our relationship with our Father.
When our daughter was young, we spent hours strolling through the neighborhood, hand in hand, crunching fallen leaves, and picking flowers. Everything enchanted her and evoked innumerable questions.
As she explored God’s creation, I used the opportunity to introduce her to the Creator. We talked about the different colors before us. I told her of God’s love displayed in each chirping robin and fragrant flower. Her eyes would light up with childlike wonder, and her gaze would drift to the sky.
She’s twenty-one now, and our relationship is stronger than ever. She and I continue to enjoy long, leisurely strolls. They’re cherished times between her and I. Times where she unveils her heart and shares some of her deepest dreams and fears. And like when she was a toddler, it isn’t long before our conversation turns spiritual. For us, talking about God comes naturally. It’s part of our relationship’s DNA.
Seventeen years ago, I had no idea what a beautiful tradition our "creation" walks would start. Not only have these special moments strengthened her faith; they’ve melded our hearts together as well. They built the trust that has allowed me to speak truth into her life and for her to hear that truth.
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