I recently read a blog on focusonthefamily.com and there was one sentence that stopped me in my tracks. Larry Fowler wrote that, “If your children do not come to faith in Christ by the time they are teens, the likelihood begins to quickly decrease that they will do so.”
I want more than anything for my daughter (who is now age 10) to follow Jesus for all of her days. I often find myself wondering if I am doing enough at home to teach her about Jesus, as well as how to live her life for him. As a mother, I know I have a huge responsibility to uphold Proverbs 22:6 – “Train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” It is my job to model Jesus well to my daughter, so she understands what following Him looks like. I want her to trust that making the choice to follow Him is the best decision she could ever make.
Here are some things I strive to do in our home to model Jesus:
- I read my Bible. Not just on my phone app, but the physical book itself. I spend time with God in the Word and my daughter knows that when she sees me with my Bible, I am having quiet time with the Lord. I help her navigate her own Bible as well and encourage her to read just 1-2 verses at the beginning of her days.
- I read many devotionals throughout the day, and I have found ones specifically for tweens that my daughter and I can read together. We read them while we wait in the school car line, when we sit down to dinner, or at the end of the day at bedtime. Some of them include questions to ponder that we can discuss together, along with a prayer to pray.
- I admit when I am wrong and ask my daughter for her forgiveness. I also forgive others when they have hurt me and shown them grace and kindness.
- I pray anytime and anywhere. This teaches her that Jesus is always with us and accessible. If we see an ambulance drive by while we are in the car, I offer up a prayer to the Lord for the person or situation they are en route to. If one of her friends is sick, we pray for them together. If my daughter is facing something difficult, we stop and pray to ask for help. Often, I am in conversation out loud with the Lord and my family will ask who I am talking to, and I respond, “Jesus!” Something so simple teaches her that Jesus cares and he is our friend who we can talk to whenever we want.
- I help her to cultivate a thankful heart by asking her daily to name one thing she was thankful for that day, and I name mine as well. I point out the beauty in nature and how amazing it is that God created so many things for us to enjoy here on Earth.
- I simply love Jesus and keep him at the center of everything. I want her to know that following Jesus is about love, and not a set of rules. God puts up guardrails to keep us from falling, to protect us from harm, and to live out a life that is pleasing to him.
- Having compassion for others and helping those in need helps to show her how to put others above herself. Sending flowers to a friend having a hard day, making homeless care kits together, sending a gift card for a struggling family to buy groceries, or an Operation Christmas Child box teaches her to be thoughtful of others.
- I trust God in all things, even the hard.
No matter the age of your children, ask God to help you model your faith better to them. Not only will it help to shape your child’s future, but most importantly their eternity.