The most significant aspect of every person’s life is his or her spiritual health because it is eternal. If you are holding a precious baby, if you are chasing a toddler, if you are teaching a preschooler or early elementary child, if you are a parent, grandparent, teacher of any of these ages, you have the privilege of helping shape a life for eternity!
We instinctively know we should be teaching children about spiritual things….the big question is: HOW? Here are 4 suggestions.
SING about God, and about Jesus. Sing Bible stories. I often say, “Music is Magic.” It’s like glue and is the fastest, most permanent way to get information AND God’s truth into little hearts and minds. Find a melody – make it up or use one you know – and SING what you want to say. Songs can plant seeds of truth and of faith. Songs will “stick” in their minds. Children already love music, they don’t even need much encouragement from us to sing. So, do this:
“Sing songs from your heart to Jesus. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19 MSG
SAY – Tell your children about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. Find any way you can to bring God into conversations. It should be natural, organic, and it will get easier as you find simple ways to observe, then point your children to Him through creation, through situations, and though relationships. Pay attention to what goes on around you and ask God to help you see an opportunity to talk to your children about spiritual things; teachable moments—be ready because they are ever-present. Teach them God’s Word daily. Are they 1, 4 or 14? It doesn’t matter! TALK to them about God.
WATCH – Let’s face it…we live in a media saturated culture. Screens are everywhere and nearly unavoidable. When you allow your children to watch…YOU choose what they watch.Take seriously your role as parent / teacher by being careful before you put a screen in your child’s hand. Psalm 101:3 “I will set nothing worthless before my eyes.” YIKES – Much of our media is worthless, but here is some good news, there is plenty to watch that is not! Take the time to find it and choose it for your child. Here are some suggestions:
Bible for Kids (free APP) www.Youversion.com
PLAY – For a child, play is work and play can be praise to God! Play is the way they learn and express themselves. Synapses connect when they use imagination, when they build, when they work a puzzle, color a picture, draw, create a craft, dance, run, swing, jump, clap, spin…. speaking of spinning, I learned something new from the Bible recently – something fun! The word ‘rejoice’ in Psalm 118:24 is this Hebrew word, giyl, which literally means, “to spin around under the influence of strong emotion”! WOW – a biblical way to point your children to God as they play! Look for ways to turn play into PRAISE.
So today, with God’s help, find a new way to SING, SAY, WATCH AND PLAY, as you share God’s BIG LOVE with little lives.
Jean Thomason, author/speaker/singer/songwriter/worship leader and the live embodiment of “Miss PattyCake”. She has won hearts of hundreds of thousands of toddlers and preschoolers through DVDs, CDs, books, and live performances. Her new book, “Sharing God’s BIG LOVE with Little Lives” is for parents / teachers. www.shopmisspattycake.com