I don’t know about you but our lives are crazy busy and, even with church, my husband and I know we need to instill core ideas about God in our children. Many of the sayings and ideas we have swimming around in our minds come from what we heard as a child. They’ve proven this with money and school, the same is true about God.
At some point, my husband and I sat down together, and decided on three main ideas about God that we will actively seek to embed into our children’s minds. They may seem simple but they had to meet our “stand the test of time” criteria, they had to be “major,” encompass more than one concept, and help our children be successful.
#1: God loves you no matter what.
Our family has undergone so many rough times and changes that if anything is consistent they need to know God loves them. We wanted them to know whether they were in trouble or Daddy was away, they were still completely and utterly loved. We have a blended family, my husband is the step-dad to my two sons and we’ve found that their interpretation about whether or not he is angry is related to their understanding of his love for them.
This is also a self confidence booster and relaxing thought to know that no matter what mistakes may have been made His love wasn’t dependent on them getting it right.
#2: God wants good things for you.
Going through the loss of my mom and the divorce from their dad my children have needed an anchor that let them know God didn’t want them to hurt. Teaching them God wants good things for them helps them not to attribute every bad thing that happens to His plan for their lives, that’s simply not true. The bible says He wants good things for us.
“Bad” is relative and subject to interpretation, how many times have you thought something was bad only to find out later it was really good for you? Teaching them God wants good things for them shields them from the rejection and condemnation that can come from having bad things happen in life.
It creates an expectation of good things that encourages them to look for and step out to receive good into their lives. That may be a gift, a spouse or a promotion, whatever it is I want our children to feel qualified to receive it.
Recently a friend told me a story about their child that feels entitled to get whatever he wants and has abused his parents trust to the point they had to ask him to leave. I don’t know these people well enough to speak to any factors that may have contributed. Feeling entitled to receive isn’t a bad thing but outside of godly wisdom it can turn into a bad thing.
#3: God is always with you.
We want our children to feel safe and supported, we can’t always be there so they one they should truly rely on is the Lord. When they are having bad dreams or just get scared we can pray for them or reassure them He’s there. In life we have to face people and places that can seem scary or overwhelming. Knowing you have a protector and a friend with you, and going ahead of you to make things good, is a healthy reassurance.
Those are ours and we take the time to infuse them into our daily lives, conversations and bedtime hugs. Hopefully this will encourage you to come up with your own and be intentional about what your kids take with them about God into adulthood.
It would be awesome to hear what you think about this and what you are teaching your children. Please leave your comments below.