So, we all know the obvious ~ teach and model Christ to children. But kids, especially pre-teens and teenagers, have a mind set on being cool, fitting in, pop music, and wearing all the “right” name brand clothes. When you’re raising a young adult with raging hormones and obsessions with clothes, music, and friends it can seem like a constant battle to “win them over” to have an attitude of Christ.
The answer is to create a bubble. Don’t let your kids socialize with any other kids their age. Take away all t.v., music, and technology. Make them stare at the wall and recite scripture.
The “world” is everywhere. You literally can’t even take your child out to get ice cream without hearing a song about all kinds of things you don’t want your child to hear about playing at the ice cream shop.
Here are a few suggestions on how to teach and model Christ to a child:
Guard yourself ~ Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves. (Deut. 4:9)
~ Guard yourself. Daily self-assess your thoughts and motives. Give yourself “heart checks.”
~ Listen to the Holy Spirit’s convictions. Are you too obsessed with clothes? Are you determined to socialize with the adult “popular” crowd at work on in the neighborhood? Do you fake nice and then tear people apart behind their backs? Pay attention to where the Holy Spirit is convicting and guiding you.
~ Check your motives and actions through your husband or a friend. So many times we think we’ve come up with a great decision or plan, but after running it through a trusted person we realize it wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life. ~ Proverbs 4:23
Tell them stories…so that you don’t forget the things your eyes have seen and so that they don’t slip from your mind as long as you live. Teach them to your children and your grandchildren (Deut. 4:9)
~ Moses was telling the Israelites not to forget what they had seen God do for them when He rescued them from slavery. He told them to always tell their children and grandchildren their story.
You were once enslaved to something before Christ came into your heart and set you free. In fact, there are probably many areas where you were once enslaved but are now free. We too should always tell our stories to our children and grandchildren about what the Lord has done for us.
In order to tell our stories we must be vulnerable, open, and relate with our children. These stories of yours will stick more than a forced lesson. As your child tells you about an issue she’s struggling with, relate to her. Tell her how God helped you overcome a similar struggle you faced.
Watch for teachable moments. Don’t preach all the time. Simply share your stories and how God has helped you.
Assemble around God’s Word ~ The day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, the Lord said to me, ‘Assemble the people before Me, and I will let them hear My words, so that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth and may instruct their children.’ (Deut. 4:10)
~ Assemble your children around God’s Word so they will hear His Words and learn to fear Him.
Take them to church and church activities.
Give back in your community together.
Have family time at night. Read the Bible together and pray as a family.
Occasionally give your child an index card with an uplifting scripture on it. Lay it on his/her desk or pillow for him/her to find.
Your children’s friends most likely won’t assemble them around God’s Word. The television won’t assemble your children around God’s Word. Even your pastor or youth minister can’t consistently assemble your children around His Word. It is the parent’s job to daily assemble their children around God’s Word.
Listen, my son. Accept my words,
and you will live many years.
I am teaching you the way of wisdom;
I am guiding you on straight paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered;
when you run, you will not stumble.
Hold on to instruction; don’t let go.
Guard it, for it is your life.
*What ways do you teach and model Christ to your children?