SOME MINIMUM DAILY REQUIREMENTS
By: Charles White
Your child’s journey from 4 to 14 is very short. Christian parents need to put God into each day during this impressionable time.
As a father of five foster children and a preschool teacher for 10 years, I’m convinced that the following practices – instilled early – can teach children to hold onto God during the difficult adolescent period.
* Hang a picture of Christ in each child’s bedroom. Children are often quicker to respond to pictures than to words.
* Teach your child how to pray. By the time a child is 5, he should be able to speak one-sentence prayers with a parent. By the time he’s 6, he should be looking for answers to his prayers.
But avoid correcting a child’s prayers. They are between him and God.
* Bless your child each morning. If you want to see sudden dramatic improvement in your family and young children, try this. I admit it sounds formal, but it’s been a miracle for many.
Place one hand on the shoulder or head and repeat a blessing from Scripture, such as one of the following: “May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace” (Num. 6:24-26) or “May God strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith” (Eph. 3:16). You can also choose your own words.
The spirit of the blessing impresses even the youngest children. Giving a blessing can also renew a parent’s heart.
* Take short walks. Get outside to God’s world as much as possible. You can identify trees, capture bugs and look at scenery. Let creation declare the glory of God.
* Purchase Scripture cards from your Christian bookstore and leave them on the kitchen table. Reading from God’s Word as part of the meal-time prayer is a great way to remind the family of God’s presence.
* Display your child’s Sunday school lesson. Letting a youngster’s efforts die a painful death on the car floor can leave hurt feelings.
Of course, none of these efforts is a guarantee that your daughter or son will know God. But incorporating some of these ideas will be a daily reminder of His presence and love.
(The above material appeared in the September 1992 issue of Focus on the Family.)
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