Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quiet Time with Kids

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Today,I'd like to talk about the importance of having a quiet time with your children!

Last year,I realized how important it is for me to spent time in the Word I must have intentional time each day to talk to God,read His Word,meditate on scriptures,memorize them,and Pray. Pray. Pray!

A few months ago,I listened to this awesome sermon online. The pastor was talking about mothering,and said something to the effect of..'it's like you're running a Bible college at home'.

Right. Except I wasn't. My children didn't get to see me in the act of worship,ever! They go to their own nursery at church,while I go into the service. I did my quiet time at night after they went to bed. I prayed quietly,in my own heart,most of the time. What was I showing my children?

A whole lot of.. nothing.

So,what's a practical way to include your children,and teach them how to have an intimate relationship with the Lord?

Start with the simple. Talk about what you learned in church. Give your children an appropriate dose of the sermon from "big church". For instance,we are going through a series of messages about the family right now,and our pastor spoke about the elderly last week. One suggestion he gave was to stand when the elderly enter a room as a sign of respect. This is something you can teach your children to do,while explaining how it honors God. You may even get the Bible out together and read a verse of reference.

From there,move on to letting your children see you opening that Bible! You certainly don't want your children to remember mommy's Bible as a dusty book located underneath the romance novels on the nightstand.

For example,on Thursdays I am involved in a discipleship program. A wonderfully godly woman from our church comes to our home for 2 hours,and we do Bible study together. I used to make Julianna go in her room while we worked together,but now I allow her to stay out in the main part of the house with us,and even peek in a little bit. I explain to her some of what we do,and it allows an avenue of communication about new things. Let your children see YOU in the Word.

What fruit grows on that tree you've planted?

A little bud,who wants to sit on your lap while you read from The Toddlers Bible! Oh,and what a sweet sight it is,the first time your child brings their Bible to you,asking for a story!

And then,you are ready to have a quiet time with your child.

What do I do? How do I start?

Well,it depends on the age/needs of your child.

Baby (up to 18m): keep it simple. With Matilda,I take her in her room after lunch,and get her ready for nap. While I'm changing her,I sing Jesus Loves Me. Then,I pick her up and cradle her in my arms. I make eye contact and tell her how special she is and how much Jesus loves her. Then,I take her hand and I pray over her. I don't have a routine for this,it's something different every day. Some days, I pray for her body to be strong,or her heart to be pure and blameless,or her mind to be filled with knowledge. I pray that she will love the Lord with all her heart,that as she learns to speak her words will be sweet,etc. Sometimes,a certain scripture will pop into my mind,and I will pray it over her. This lasts about 5 minutes total,but it's a good starting place.

Tollder (through age 3): You can start to get more in depth. I would still sing a song,and read a short story from a Toddler's Bible. You can talk a bit more about the story,even repeating it throughout the day (remember Jonah? He was swallowed up by that whale because he didn't obey God!) Finish by taking your child's hands and praying over them.

Preschooler (4-5): Consider moving to a children's Bible at this point,which has more in depth stories. By this point,your child will have a basic knowledge about the Bible,and might even remember some things as you start over reading the stories. Go in order,or skip around to find something that will interest them. Read a story,ask some questions,and discuss the story together. (Did Adam and Eve make a good or bad decision? A bad decision is called sin. They didn't obey God,and that's a sin. Sin doesn't make God happy). At this point,you should begin teaching your child to pray with you. Julianna and I have different books we use (see above picture,found this at Goodwill for 1$),but we ready a story or devotional,talk about it,and then I ask her what she'd like to pray about. I have to say,I'm never bored with her answers!! Sometimes I ask her to pray first,and then I finish. Other times,I go first,and she adds things on when I'm done. I pray many of the same things for her as I do for Tillie,going a bit more in depth. I pray for her future husband,that He is being raised in a godly home right now,and that he will love the Lord first,and her second. I pray for certain character traits that she has trouble with. And I always,always,always thank God for her. I thank Him for gifting me with such a treasure,and I list some of her most positive qualities so she can hear them spoken out loud. What a gift this time is for us! I can't even express how much I enjoy snuggling in the recliner and having quiet time with her. She is learning and growing so much from it,too.

After preschool age,I would move to a young adult Bible,or something tailored to your child's needs. When they are fully reading,they may want to continue alone,but I would still take an opportunity to lay your hands on your child and pray for them as much as possible. It's such a rich experience.

If you have any questions about discipling your children,I would love to talk more with you! Please e-mail me at and I will respond ASAP.

As always,if you are reading this blog,and you are struggling with your faith,or even wondering about how to have a personal relationship with Christ,I would love to help you! :)

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