Ways to Bring Jesus Home
(This post is a combination of the previous three posts. It is intended for those who might want to print it out and keep it. Right click to print)
This compilation of information from my blog, “Bringing Jesus Home (from Church),” is in no way complete. The information I am sharing is from my Biblical studies, and years of involvement in church and school, working with kids. I have a passion for raising this next generation with a love of Christ in their hearts, and the reality I see is our churches dying, because the younger generation no longer sees the need for Jesus Christ in their lives. My heart’s prayer is that you will prayerfully consider the information presented and have God guide you, in how you use it.
(There are a lot of suggestions here. Don’t think you have to add or change as much as possible!! Find ONE thing you want to add or change, and make only one change at a time.) God bless you!
A. With your family…
Make sure your kids are Christian.
- I know this seems silly, but many kids believe that people are born into whatever religion their parents are.
- Help your kids realize that being a Christian means having a relationship with Jesus, and that it is much more than just a “religion”.
- If your child is not sure, or you are not sure they have accepted Jesus into their heart as their Savior, share the gospel with them, and ask them if they want to ask Jesus into their heart.
Trust your kids into God’s hands.
- Let Him control what you do and say to them about Him.
- Believe that God will have a hand in how you raise them, if you want Him to.
Pray, pray, pray!
- Discuss with your kids on when during the day you should pray, both as a family, and individually.
- Share with them the things you are praying about (unless it shouldn’t be shared, of course).
- Create a prayer journal, and review it to show your kids how Jesus has answered their prayers. (Remember, “wait” and “no” are also answers to prayer!)
- Encourage your kids to pray for the Holy Spirit to take away their desire to get mad, or get even with other kids, and also, to take away temptations to gossip, and complain.
- Have your kids hold you accountable to pray everyday, as you hold them accountable as well.
Work consistently to build up your kids’ faith
- Do devotions with them several times a week
- Find a time that works, and stick with it! (Morning, evening, right after dinner, right before bedtime)
- Memorize, memorize, memorize! Besides prayer, this is an activity that will “arm” our kids with the necessary gospel that will help them when they are being challenged by their friends and circumstances. (Get “armed and dangerous” in God’s word!)
- Discuss biblical topics with your kids; salvation, God’s love, His intimate interest in them, control, anxiety, patience, honoring Mom and Dad, etc.
- Use Jesus as a positive role model for your kids, not a judgmental authoritarian figure ready to pounce on them when they mess up.
- Discuss the hard topics; why God lets bad things happen, why people do bad things, how God feels about sex, drugs, gay lifestyle, etc A. (Obviously, this needs to be at the time when kids are ready for these topics, not before)
- Go to church! This seems like it shouldn’t need to be stated, but I believe there are a lot of people who are so busy, they don’t have time for church. I also believe that God will honor the time you spend with Him, and bless you for it.
- Guide your kids with their spare time: Use electronics wisely, set time limits and keep to them! A. Play board games as a family. B. Have a family night out and do something together. C. Play outdoors together, or at least have your kids play outside. D. Have your kids get involved in church clubs and groups (AWANA, Youth group, choir, drama), and/or school extracurricular activities like clubs or sports.
- Celebrate the Christian aspect of big holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. A. It’s ok to acknowledge the secular parts of these holidays, but they get so much of it at school that participating in Christ honoring traditions at home is not necessarily “leaving out” the secular aspect.
- Challenge your kids to accomplish something in keeping with God’s word. A. For example, can they demonstrate in real life an example of following the Golden Rule?
- Eat dinner together!!! If not every night, at least several times a week. Get off all the electronics and talk to one another. Get to know each other all over again! If you need to, come up with a topic for discussion before dinner, so you know what you want to discuss.
B. For parents/grandparents:
For the last segment of my compilation, I have separated out the things I think parents/grandparents need to do for themselves. I know you know that raising kids is a full time job…which, if you already have a full time job outside the home, means that you have two full time jobs! Whew!! Even though we have the “head knowledge” of having many jobs, we rarely treat ourselves as if we did. In other words, we are like the Energizer Bunny that just keeps going, and going, and going.
As I started to write this, with the above information in mind, my next thought was that parents don’t need more things to do in their day. I get it! Really! But, I think the time that you do have can be used differently, and still not add “things” to your day. For example, prayer. To increase your prayer time, pray before meals. Pray when you are having “cuddle time” with your child, pray after devotions. It takes time to change habits, but if you decide you want to pray with your kids, write yourself notes, or put the activity on your planner until it becomes habit.
To me, the best things you can do for yourself, are pray, and read your Bible. In the online article “Prayer 101: How Do I Talk to God?,” it states that prayer is talking with God, and it helps us develop a deeper relationship to Him. We need prayer, because we need to talk to God about what is going on in our hearts and lives. In Hebrews 4:16 it says we can, “…approach the throne of grace with confidence, so we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (https://billygraham.org). And, we need to know what God wants us to do, in terms of raising our kids. Not praying could be compared to not talking to your very best friend, or spouse, when you really need to talk to them. Would you do that? God loves hearing from us, both good and bad things.
I don’t believe that we can raise Godly, Christian kids without prayer. We need to ask God to help us get through our jam-packed days, and still be able to reflect our relationship with Jesus to our kids. “With God ALL things are possible,”(Matthew 19:26b). I believe it!
The second (and equally important) thing parents/grandparents should do, is read their Bible. It is hard to defend your faith, if you really don’t know what you believe. There are many “read the Bible in one year” devotionals, that can break down the Bible into doable parts. But you don’t have to read the entire Bible, if you don’t have time. Please choose a good devotional, one that touches your heart, and read the verses that are referenced for each day. Even a few verses a day will start you on the road to getting more familiar with God’s word.
One last thing I think is important is to have a Christian friend and/or spouse, who can walk with you down the road of raising Christian kids. You need someone to bounce ideas off of, share carpooling to church and activities, and even to vent to when things are difficult.
The job of raising Christian kids is tough, but ETERNALLY rewarding.
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