Going Deeper: Helping our children
Kate shares some suggestions for helping our children connect with God and the church family.
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23 NIV
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7 NIV
How can we love our children well during this time? I’m sure like me you have had good and difficult days. I’ve seen many be very vulnerable on social media and share a little of what living so intensely with our children and teenagers during this time has been like. We are all familiar with the well-known phrase ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ yet we find ourselves taking on roles we never signed up for!
Also depending on your child, they may have responded emotionally in many different ways to this crisis. Jesus wants to spend time with your children and bless them, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14 NIV
With our church venues closed and normal church activities postponed, how do we keep our children engaged in church and most importantly keep cultivating their relationship with Jesus during this time?
I’ve put together a list of some things we had already been doing in our home and some new ideas we’ve found helpful in the last few weeks. I don’t want you to feel when reading this, ‘oh not more things I need to do’. Rather I’m hoping these are simple everyday activities, some of which you probably already do and how you can include your children in them.
• Have worship music playing in the background while you are going about daily tasks. Children will pick up on the lyrics of the songs and may start singing along.
• If you play an instrument, play around your children, worship in front of them, let them hear you sing! If they play an instrument maybe play along together?
• We recently set up an old iPod for the children with talking stories and songs. On there are a few familiar worship songs they know.
• If you’re part of Jubilee, watch XplosionTV together. Or another one I would recommend at the moment is Family at 4pm. Afterwards talk about what you’ve watched. When your children are really excited about something they’ve seen, look them in the eye and stop anything else you are doing so they know you are listening. This shows that what they are saying is important to you.
• Have YouTube playing on the TV with worship songs/church services or search for kids’ worship.
• Make a craft together around a biblical story and talk about the story.
• Have biblical stories and the Jesus Story book available for your children to pick up and read/look through the pictures as they wish.
• Read your bible in front of your children. If they come and join you let them interrupt you. Ask them if they want to read with you, let them look through, be prepared to answer any questions.
• How do you normally serve the church? Help them to feel part of what you do and if appropriate let them join you, so they feel included and they have something to contribute to the church body.
• Pray every night together as they go to bed. Use this time to talk about things they are thankful for and what they want to pray into. Ask your child if they want to pray? If they don’t, don’t make it a big deal and suggest if they want to pray in their head they could.
There are also lots of resources and books you can buy but I want to give you some simple everyday things you can do today.
I hope this has been helpful. Please share ideas of things you’ve been doing at home with the children you look after.
Thank you Kate.