How to Raise Kids Who Are Excited About Jesus
“Start children off the way they should go, and even when they’re old they will not turn from it.”
I bet that title was appealing because I mean come on, everyone wants the secret to raising healthy, happy and respectful children. Add in some Jesus and we are now on a whole level of morals, values and faith that many of us are hoping (fingers and toes crossed) that our children will cling to.
The truth is, I put a title up there that would attract you and draw you in. While I do plan to write today on the ways to make your children excited about Jesus Christ, the truth is that I am no expert. My children are still growing and haven’t reached adulthood so truth be told, I can’t sit here and predict the future and tell you that these tips will really work.
But what I can tell you, is that I have noticed ways in which my children act, particularly my oldest, that shows me that Jesus is exciting to them. So why not share that!
Many mothers can sit here and tell you what has worked for their family and what hasn’t worked. Many mothers can also tell you all of the things that they tried implementing while raising their children yet for a season their children still walked away from the church. I am simply here to inspire you and encourage you to find ways to incorporate faith into your days where your children will have more excitement and a greater understanding of walking as a disciple of Jesus.
Enjoy these tips below!
YOU have to walk the walk before you can talk the talk. Children learn by example when they are growing up and discovering the world around them. Trying to speak His holy name would be much harder for me if He wasn’t a part of my daily life, not to mention that my children get much more excited over something when they see it excites me as well. It doesn’t matter where you’re at on your journey, there’s no perfect time to start sharing His love with your children…there’s only now.
Bring in the worship music - oh yes. Believe me, I can tell you that never in one trillion years did I think that my car would be filled with praise and worship music but the truth is that stuff is actually really good. It’s all we listen to about 95% of the time. My children sing the songs and what is even better is when those songs spur conversations from curious little minds. Music can greatly influence growing minds and unfortunately can confuse us on what is right and wrong when we listen to other forms of music. While I love some oldies, country and even a little “bounce” here and there, bringing worship music into the car has brought in more Christ filled conversations.
Speak about Him like He is there. Something we frequently do in the car is remind each other of our love for one another. I’ll shout out, “Who loves Mommy?” And they will raise their hands and scream. We do this over and over and I always say, “Who loves Jesus?” or even “Who does Jesus love!?” to which they answer ME! He’s a part of our family, so naturally he gets thrown into the mix too.
Work on scriptures with fun games and cards! We have a set of scripture cards that we currently use and there are some really adorable ones on the internet. Many of them are actually alphabet flash cards that have a coordinating scripture to go with it, so it’s a wonderful learning tool for all ages. While we are not always the best at remembering to do this, it’s a fun activity to work on a scripture a week. Whether it’s flash cards, bible time or written on a chalkboard, some of these scriptures may carry on with them for forever.
Join a bible box subscription for kids. There are SO many subscription boxes out there, that you want to choose a valuable one for your family. By choosing a faith based box, your children get all of the excitement of receiving mail, reading fun books, making fun crafts, but they will do all of this while learning more and more about Jesus and His love for us! We currently use Hello Bible and my children ADORE this box! They want to do it the minute it comes in. We will more than likely start Catholic Crate next.
Develop a family scripture night. This isn’t something that we’ve started, but it’s something that I’ve wanted to start. Choose a weekly night to sit down and work on scripture and learn more about God’s love. Perhaps you can make it even more exciting with fun snacks and games.
Read to them. There are so many books, children’s bibles, bible games and more out there on teaching your children about Jesus. Use them. Make it seem normal and natural to sit down and read about Jesus, but for younger ones choose brightly colored illustrations and short stories.
Go to church as a family. Yes, yes, yes. Church isn’t always a child’s favorite, it can sometimes be long and they have to sit so still. But nowadays more churches have children’s programs that get younger ones involved and it makes Sunday church exciting. Eventually children’s programs will end as they get older, but hopefully the routine of church will not. It’s easy to want to sleep in on Sundays (believe me I know) but the truth is that going to church as a family can be one of your most cherished traditions. Once children are even older (past nap ages), the morning can be spent with mass and followed by lunch at a favorite spot. This creates a beautiful Sabbath spent with our Father and our family. Also, involve children in the extra curricular things at church. If there’s a family day attend it, if there’s a dinner go to it, if there’s a Christmas play join it. This gets children involved and active where church steadily becomes more engrained in their hearts, routines and more. It will hopefully feel natural to just want to be there and to continue to be there.
Learning about God’s love for us should be natural. As parents we can’t just leave the teaching up to Sunday mass, we have to pour that into our homes daily. And we have to give ourselves grace when we fail and when we fall asleep in our routines; because it will likely happen. No one ever said that we would always be the perfect teacher or model of Jesus’ love, but we can surely try our best.
We have to set the foundation and build on it slowly but surely. While the years may pass and our children may stray or become less excited about Jesus, that foundation will always be buried down deep in there. And who knows, it could be that foundation that brings them back- that longing for what they once felt and once knew of.
“May the LORD cause you to flourish, both you and your children.”
~ Psalm 115:14