Disclaimer: To my friends of varying faiths, thank you for reading and please feel free to take the concepts presented in this post and apply them to your family in the context of your own beliefs. I’m writing from a Christian point of view because that is what I know and live. Blessings to all!
We strive so hard to instill discipline in our children. We try to lead by example by cleaning up after ourselves, making our own beds, being cheerful on Sunday mornings and getting to church on time. Usually. Sometimes. Right? I digress.
How are we doing at leading by example as related to spiritual discipline?
I wonder if we place as much importance on letting our little learners in our “behind the scenes” world of reading our Bibles, having daily devotionals, journaling our innermost thoughts to the Lord, and praying?
You may say, “These are activities best done in private.” Maybe so. But until our kiddos see and hear and observe that this type of spiritual discipline is an integral part of keeping mama sane, they’ll never guess it!
I’m a little old-school in the sense that I bring an actual Bible with me to church services and class. You know, like with pages and a little ribbon bookmark? I read from that Bible at home, too, but that’s just my preference. An electronic version is just fine! The point is that your kids (little ones and big ones!) see you primarily turning to Scripture to get advice and strength.
Goal: The next time your child asks you if such-and-such is right or wrong, resist the urge to turn to Google or Siri for the answer. Consult the Good Book to connect its relevance to your child’s developing mind!
Goal: Let your son or daughter observe you reading a passage of Scripture before you turn on the TV. Model your priorities.
Regarding prayer, it is a fantastic habit to pray with your children before meals and at bedtime. To this day, I just can’t eat (even at a business luncheon) without first thanking God for my food. In addition to this, be sure your kids know they can talk to God and He is listening anytime.
Goal: (I must give my mom credit for this one!) The next time you are driving with your kids in the car and you pass an accident or an emergency vehicle, ask the kids to pray with you for the persons involved. But don’t close your eyes if you’re driving…!
Goal: In addition to being supportive of your child by quizzing her on test material, encourage her to bring her uncertainties and anxiety to the Lord. Remind her to thank God for helping her stay focused and remembering the material after a job well done!
Goal: When your plans seem to just fall into place, thank and praise God for His goodness in the presence of your kids. Coincidence gets too much credit!
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the idea! Yes, we live in the 21st Century! But we are also Believers! Remember, if your dream includes your grown children being faithful Christians, start now and do not underestimate the value of modeling the disciplined life!
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” James 4:8
Gracia y paz,
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