Welcome to Day 2 of Teaching Them Diligently – a 5 day series of encouragement, tips and lessons we’ve learned in our family as we seek to raise our children according to God’s Word and parent with diligence.
Make sure you come back each day this week as we will be discussing a different topic. There’s so much more I need to know and learn, so please, leave your comments and ideas so we can interact, learn and encourage each other!
Day 2 – Encourage Your Children to Have Quiet Time
Encourage Your Children to Have Quiet Time
One of our deepest desires and prayers as a parent is to see our children come to Christ in repentance and relationship, committing their lives to follow him. Sometimes, though, the temptation as we pray for them is to feel that once they’re saved, everything’s going to be all right.
But that is very much NOT the case. In fact, once they come to Christ, the battleground is even messier. For now they are an enemy of Satan. A couple weeks ago, we had one of our sons give his life to the Lord. Praise God! As we prayed for him, I felt the weight of what was to come. We prepared him for the fact that things weren’t going to get easier – they were going to be even harder now! But he has a helper, as do we, in the Spirit of the Lord – and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17).
Not only do we have a helper, but we also have the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). But how often do we know we have this mighty weapon and forget to use it? I know I neglect the thirst I have and power of God that is to be found in reading God’s Word, and instead fill the gap with temporary things.
Struggling through, fighting on, failing forward is how we learn and grow and are able to teach others. And believe me, I’ve struggled a LOT with quiet times in the word! So figuring out how to tackle this with our kids has been a bit daunting.
Over the last little while (ok, maybe more like a year :D), The Man and I have been wondering and praying about how to get the boys started (they’re 9 and 7, Keekers is not quite reading enough on her own yet). There are so many resources and ideas out there!
Having both come from slightly different backgrounds, but very faith-filled, Bible teaching and believing families, we knew what we liked and didn’t like as kids. This made us very cautious in starting anything too intense with them (right off the bat at least).
I think we have finally arrived at something that will work well for our kids. Both of us started the year off with the Bible in a Year reading plan – though since, I have stopped as I was juggling 3 bible study approaches and feeling overwhelmed!
We really liked the idea of taking just the New Testament part and having them read that section each day. It is typically less than a chapter in length, so not too much, making them feel like they HAVE to finish a whole chapter at once.
We encourage them to have quiet times in the morning – they get up around 7:30, but we don’t eat until 8:30, so that gives them a bit of time to get the day started and head into quiet times. I really feel strongly that the morning is the best time, as much as possible – before distractions of the day take over and they’re “too tired” later on (I know it’s a struggle for me! ;D). This may not work for everyone, or every day, but I feel it’s important to start the habit early! Literally :0)
Even more important than getting them into the habit is, of course, modelling it for them ourselves! I’ve struggled when some mornings I get up later, or if someone is up earlier than normal, and I haven’t yet had my quiet time. What to do now? The kids are up and I haven’t spent time in the word?!
Have no fear! Do it anyway! Model a good habit for them, let them see you spending time in God’s word on your own, and, of course, as a family (we also do family devotions in the evening).
Once they’ve read their portion, they have 3 ideas for response:
- Narrate back to us what they read and learned
- Draw a picture about something they read about
- Write a journal entry about the passage
This way, we can have accountability in their quiet time and an opportunity for them to share the gospel with someone else. Mutual ministry happening, right there!
If the desire is on your heart for your children to spend time in God’s word, but you’re unsure how to start, I hope that this post has been an encouragement to you. You are already equipped as a parent to set the example, and you have God’s word as your guide – you need only to begin!
In what ways do you encourage your children to have quiet time?
Sometimes the easiest way is simply to model it for them by having your own quiet time in front of them.
Check out more posts in the 5 Day Summer Hopscotch with iHomeschool Network!