Friday, January 5, 2018

Three Practical Ways to Grow Your Child's Love for Jesus

Today, author and speaker Brad Klassen is sharing his knowledge about parenting and practical tips to help build your children's love for Jesus! If you want more, don't forget to subscribe to his mailing list to receive a PDF of 17 Practical Ways to Grow Your Child's Love for JesusEnjoy! ~ Hilary


As a parent, if you are like me, you have a desire and a heart to see your children love Jesus and grow in Him. This could be based on many different things.
  • Maybe for you, it’s because of the life change He has made in your life.
  • Maybe it’s because you know the truth of His word and you want your kids to know His truth too.
  • Maybe it’s simply because you want to see them in Heaven with you one day.
  • Maybe you have a different reason.

Whatever your reason, as a Christian parent, this is not a bad desire. In fact, this is a God-given job when you become a parent.

Paul writes in Ephesians 6:4 that fathers are to:
          “Bring them (their children) up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

He also writes in I Thessalonians 2:12 that a parent is to be:
          Encouraging, comforting, and urging their children to “live lives worthy of God.”

Now, I know that the Bible has many other references to parenting.  In fact, it is a well of wisdom from where we, who did not get an instruction manual with each kid, can dive into and learn how to do what seems to be impossible.

But how do we do this in today’s world?  Paul didn’t have iPods, Netflix, and the next great video game system to compete against. He didn’t have unlimited texting or malls to shop at.
How do we teach our kids to love Jesus in a culture that is so overwhelming?

Let me offer few suggestions. This is by far not the only list of ideas out there, but it can be a start.

Let the Bible Come to Life in Your Home

In our North American culture, we tend to forget that the Bible stories were lived by real people with real emotions.
  • When David wrote the Psalms, he wept.
  • When King Nebuchadnezzar was furious in Daniel 3:19, he was really, really mad.
  • When Paul shouted at the jailer in Acts 17:28, he had to be heard over the chaos that came after an earthquake.  He SHOUTED!

Read the Bible with emotion. Put yourself in the stories. Let it come to life. In our home, I tell our kids to look at the “buts” in the Bible. Yes, I tell them to look at Biblical buts. Once our preteen giggle fest ends, we look at what God is telling us with a big "but." For example, look at Romans 6:23 and be thankful for the God-sized "but" in there. If our kids don’t understand that it is a real book, with real people, and real emotions, it will always be a distant and boring read.

Don’t be Perfect

The truth is you won’t be. As much as we are called to a life of holiness, God knows we will make many mistakes along the way. In our pursuit of God, we live a life of grace. Grace for our kids AND grace for ourselves. Our kids are not perfect, and let’s face it, their parents aren’t either. 

Live a grace-filled life. A big part of this is being able to SAY SORRY to them when we make a mistake.

We need to model what an imperfect life with the perfect God looks like: one of confession, forgiveness, and grace.

Don’t be Normal

This is an interesting one. We once had a friend over for supper. As she watched us around the table, she told us that what she saw was not normal. We were all there, sitting together, sharing our day and our lives together.  In our society, what’s "normal" is not always beneficial.

Here are some small ideas that can make big differences:
  • Eat supper together.
  • Turn off the TV.
  • Get rid of music that is not God-honoring.
  • Have a device-free time at the restaurant.

I say this knowing that each family has its own set of circumstances.  In fact, I grew up in a trucking family where both my parents were on the road a lot, so the idea of the family dinner was not one I grew up with. However, it is one that we have implemented in our home. What are ways you could be abnormal to our culture in your home?

With saying these three, I do not want to neglect the truths of loving Jesus yourself and modeling a life of relationship and prayer with Him. How can we expect our kids to do that if we don’t do it ourselves?

Growing our kids to love Jesus may seem like a difficult challenge.  We are up against some pretty tough opposition, but we also have the best Teammate one could ever have.  Jesus wants us to know Him.  That means He wants our kids to know Him.  And as much as I question His decision to give my kids the dad He did, I trust that He will be with me to help me be the best parent I can be.

If you would like more on this, you can visit adventuresofjuniorbear.weebly.com and subscribe to my free email and receive the PDF of 17 Practical Ways to Grow Your Child’s Love for Jesus.

Leave us a comment: which of these three ideas will you implement in your home? Or which ones have you already done and had success with?

Brad Klassen is a writer, storyteller, and public speaker.  His passion is to bring the Bible to life for all ages and help others grow in their walk with Jesus. In his spare time, he loves to longboard, play board games, and sit by a fire (but not all at the same time). He and his wife, Jen, have 4 kids and live in the frigid cold of Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.  

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