Most of human behavior is learned through mimicry. Language is acquired as babies imitate the sounds they hear around them. Children learn to say “please” and “thank you” as they observe parents using them. If you want your children to get to know God through personal study and meditation – you can show them how it’s done and they will learn from watching you.
Here are some ways to help you, the parent, teach and train your child(ren) in this lifelong discipline. Christian gift stores can help you provide the tools that you could use to help in the process.
1. Example, Example, Example
The power of personal example is hard to overstate. Your children can learn best by seeing you reading your Bible and spending time alone in prayer. For many Christians down through the centuries, the best time for an unbreakable appointment with God has been in the early morning. That is not a command from God, however. If it is easier for you to be faithful at night, then go with what works best. The important thing is to carve out time for your devotions on a regular basis.
2. Show Them How, Then Turn Them Free
At first, it may help a child to join you for your devotional time. This will probably mean cutting your own time down to suit their shorter attention span. Look in Christian gift stores for a child’s devotional bible that they can quietly read to themselves in the room with you. Many of these bibles have questions for thought included.
3. Family Bible Reading
Family devotions can also serve as a springboard into personal devotions. This means more than simply reading a bible passage. It means talking about it and putting yourself (or them) in the position of the hearer or the speaker. It also involves asking one another what the passage teaches us about God or what it says about how we should live. This kind of thoughtful reading habit will serve your child well in personal times of bible reading.
4. Prayer as Devotion
Teaching your child to pray for themselves is an ongoing process. Early on, you can pray for your child at the table, at bedtime and through the day. However, it’s a good idea to let them speak prayers as an act of devotion as soon as possible. Check out the tools to help with this at Christian gift stores. Bedtime prayer dice or table prayer dice can be fun ways for young children to read prayers. Later on, invite children to learn to speak to God about what they read in the bible. Your model of simple prayers based on what you’ve read in the Bible will help him see how to start conversation with the invisible God.
As your child grows, bible study materials and devotional materials from Christian gift stores can also be added in. You make time to teach your children how to tie their shoes, make their bed and cut their food. You teach them how to say “please” and “thank you”. Teaching them to spend time alone with God is so important. Visit The Printery House to find more tools to help you. We offer a wide range of personal devotion tools to help your child develop a special quiet time habit.