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More than anything in the world I want my kids to love Jesus and enjoy Him forever.
I know there aren’t any equations or how-to articles that will guarantee my child’s salvation, but there are steps that I can take to be a good steward of the Good News I have in Christ. After all, when Jesus ascended to heaven, He gave us one final command – to go and make disciples. Who better to focus on than my kids – starting right from birth. But what are some ways we can do that?
The most common answers might include go to church, memorize Scriptures together, listen to worship music, etc.
Today I want to share with you 3 simple ways that you might not have considered before when it comes to shepherding your child’s heart from the moment they are born.
Say Grace Before Every Feed
We are encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to, “pray continually.” The believer’s gift is access to the Father all day every day and we can enjoy that with our children. But one specific time to pray that I want to focus on is saying grace before a meal. Saying grace is a common practice for believers that humbly acknowledges the Lord as the giver of all good things. It is a time to say thanks and to, once again, submit our whole selves to God. Jesus models this for us several times in the Bible (Matthew 14:15-21, Matthew 15:32-38, Luke 24:13-35).
A baby eats every 2-3 hours (or every 45-90 minutes like Baby Z – SEND HELP – ha!). A simple, “Thank you, Lord, for this food,” before a bottle or nursing session is a sweet way to teach baby where our nourishment comes from – both physically and spiritually. How wonderful to have mamas from all over bow their heads every time they bring their babies close to eat! A powerful habit to instill right from the beginning!
Keep Your Perfect Peace Face
I recently discovered a wonderful resource for new moms called Moms On Call. One of the things that they encourage is for moms to use a “confident face” when interacting with their babies. Studies have shown that babies can differentiate between a variety of emotions. When shown an image of a joyful face, babies will stare at it longer, showing their preference for that expression. If babies take their cues from us, then consider what kind of face you are sharing with them each day.
When I was a new mom with our firstborn, Noah, I am pretty sure that 90% of the time he saw me with a super anxious and worried face. I freaked out about everything and would often stand or sit over my new baby fretting. I worried about everything from breastfeeding to what kind of laundry detergent to use.
Isaiah 26:2 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” When we trust in the Lord and command our thoughts according to what His Word says, then our fear turns into faith, and our panic becomes peace. Detergent worries melt away when we preach to ourselves about God’s sovereign, loving hand in all things.
Sometimes I wonder if all of those worried faces shaped who Noah is today – an amazing young man who is kind, creative, and smart, but who also struggles a great deal with anxiety. There is grace for every season and no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus when it comes to our past mistakes, but if I can encourage anyone out there how to be free of the Fret Face and embrace the Perfect Peace Face, especially in those early days of motherhood, then thanks be to God!
What a gift we can give our little ones as they learn to trust God, too!
Talk about Him Always
Deuteronomy 6:5-6 says, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”
These verses tell us to talk about the Lord all throughout the day. Not just on Sunday mornings. We can talk about Jesus when we are having breakfast, tying shoes, and driving to school. We can talk about Jesus when we are changing a diaper, doing tummy time, and giving a bath. All of these moments are opportunities to share about His light and love. Even though they are babies, they are hearing and learning every word you say.
Sometimes, though, as much as I love the Lord, mama is TIRED and my brain doesn’t always know how to best communicate all of the things about faith that I want my children to know. That is why I am so thankful for resources available to moms that help teach little ones about the holy Word of God.
My latest favorite resource is The Beginner’s Bible First 100 Bible Words board book by Zonderkidz. Its bright colors and cute images help introduce little ones to words and concepts from beloved Bible stories. Each spread in this board book focuses on a major Bible story, and teaches young children the main words and images of that story (for example: Noah’s Ark story features “ark”, “Noah”, “dog”, “rain”, “cloud”, “leaf”, “bird”, “cat” and “rainbow.”)
I love having a tool to spark conversations with my baby about simple Bible truths he will need for the rest of his life. Zion loves to read his copy of The Beginner’s Bible First 100 Bible Words while doing tummy time, getting his diaper changed, and on the long drive to school every morning. Not to mention he has made this book his favorite teether (note upper right corner of book in photo above). He is tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. Literally. 😉
Another great time of day to talk about God with your kids is at bedtime. I don’t know about you, but my kids always get super chatty and vulnerable right before bed. We love to use that time to read a Christ-centered story that helps my kids grow in and talk about their faith.
Today I am partnering with Zonderkidz to do a GIVEAWAY that will allow you to spend meaningful time with your babies as you establish a nighttime routine!
GIVE THE GIFT OF BEDTIME BIBLE!
One (1) winner receives:
a copy of The Beginner’s Bible First 100 Bible Words,
and an ultra soft baby blanket to snuggle up for bedtime Bible study.
Open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Zonderkidz. Giveaway will run from Friday, May 24 – Monday, May 27. at 11:59 pm.
HOW TO ENTER >>
Leave a comment below sharing YOUR favorite way to share Jesus with the babies in your life!
I can’t wait to hear and learn from your responses!