In this day in age, it can be easy to get caught up in the busy, go-go-go attitude with your children’s schedules. We rush them from activity to activity with quick meals and little or no down time. We want them to have lots of different experiences and options and opportunities! We want them to “have the world” and “have more options than we did” and “do it all” by the time they are teenagers.
In the midst of your busy schedule, it can be hard to think about more important things. What we think we are giving our children when we rush them from practice to lesson to activities is options, choices, and what feels like earthly purpose. But what if we stopped for a moment and thought about what we are really giving them? Let’s think about what we are communicating to them when we push them to try another new thing, or fill another weeknight, or join another team? What values are we communicating? What view of time? What beliefs about ourselves and themselves?
What if, in the midst of our go-go-go schedules, if we took snippets of time to slow down and have meaningful discussions. Jesus’s command was: “as you go…make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), not to stop doing it all, but to still prioritize faith conversations and moments in the midst of our lives. In Deuteronomy 6:5-9, Moses reminds the Israelites how to teach the Lord’s commandments to their 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.” (verse 7)
The goal is not to add another thing to your busy schedule. The idea is to show your children what is most important. Let’s foster intentional daily discipleship into our homes and lives and teach your children about faith. Here are some simple faith-filled conversations you can start as you live:
- Mealtime prayers and discussions: Mealtimes are a great time to teach your children to pray! We start with a “two thank-yous and one please” pattern and take turns. As parents, you can model this by weaving scripture into your prayers. As parents, you can also model talking about how Jesus was with you during your day, what He taught you in your devotional time, or what you are praying about. Let your children see you walk with Jesus in practical, everyday moments.
- Bedtime prayers and questions: Bedtime blessings are a beautiful way to speak life into each of your children in a personal and meaningful way. Each night, pray with them and say a personalized blessing over them individually. If you don’t know where to start, Numbers 6:24-26 is a format you can use and tweak. As your children approach teenage years, you’ll find that bedtime is also a time where they’ll feel more free to ask more intimate questions they’ve been pondering during the day. Be available and open for that and consider how you might point them back to scripture and prayer as you help them wrestle with real life situations.
- Pray and worship in the car: Whether you make a habit of praying between certain spots on a common daily route like on the way to school or pray whenever an ambulance goes by, begin to make a habit of stopping and praying together out loud. The car is also a great place to blast some worship music and fill their ears and thoughts with God’s Truth in song! Tune into your favorite Christian radio station or grab a CD that puts God’s Word to song, like Seeds Family Worship.
This isn’t tacking Jesus onto our lives, this is weaving the most important thing in our lives into the daily fabric of our comings and goings. It is worth your effort to slow down the schedules, plan for rest and reflection and begin to build in habits of slowness into your family life. But there are also seasons that are just busy! And Jesus is present in those seasons as well, we might just have to be a little more intentional to prioritize these faith-filled conversations so that they don’t take a back seat to our own plans.