Prior to becoming a parent my husband and I thought we had it all figured out. We watched others fumble with parenting and just knew we could do it better. Then we became parents, and we realized we are in the same boat as many other parents; we have no idea what we are doing.
Like many parents, we want our children to grow in every area of life including their faith. I grew up in the Baptist church, and we were at church almost every time the doors were open. My husband grew up Catholic and learned very differently. Now we attend a non-denominational church that is doing church differently than either of us grew up. We are figuring out as we go how to raise our children and help them grow their faith.
Here are a few things we are trying that our kids seem to like and enjoy:
Read the Bible together: We have been reading the Bible to our kids almost on a regular basis since the age of two. There are numerous children’s Bibles available that have been adapted to be appropriate for a child based on their age.
We are currently reading through “Jesus Calling Bible Storybook” by Sarah Young. Our kids love it and are disappointed if we have to skip a reading when we are short on time. In addition to the benefits our children receive from the Bible stories, we as well have been surprised by how much we have learned from their Bibles. If parents are unfamiliar with certain Bible stories, reading a children’s level can be a great start.
One of our favorite things to do is to read “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones during Advent. The first 24 stories in this children’s Bible recount key bible stories that lead up to the birth of Christ. Our kids love it and it helps us focus onthe spiritual aspect of Christmas.
Teach them how to pray: As they grow, we have taught them how to pray. To start, we pray with our kids. One child picked up praying on her own just by listening to our prayers. Our son likes for us to pray and then he repeats. We hope guiding them slowly will help them to grow and pray on their own.
Teach them how to handle money: In our house, we have come to believe that it is part of our faith to handle our finances wisely. Starting in first grade, our kids receive a small allowance. We teach them to set aside money to save, spend and some money to share. We teach our kids that God can often provide for us in hard times if we diligently save when times are good, and sharing some blessings is one way God takes care of others in need. We hope teaching them simple principles at a young age will help them when they are adults and handling their own finances.
Attend church: Attending our church is probably the easiest thing we can do for our kids, but it allows them to see that other kids are interested in learning the same principles and are having fun in the process.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.