“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them 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. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…”Deuteronomy 11:18-20
Notice that Moses told the people to talk with their kids about God “when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” You don’t need to wait until you think your kids are “old enough” to talk about God. It starts from the moment they are born, or even in the womb. Talk to them on an ongoing basis about God’s grace, His love, His mercy, His provision, and His purpose for their lives.
When should I talk to my kids?
“When you are at home.”Your home should be a safe place where your children know that they can talk and share with you. Often the time at home is spent sharing a meal. At dinner, you could ask everyone to share his or her “high-low” of the day. This includes you! The high should be the best thing that happened in the day or something that made you happy. Their low should be something difficult that happened or something that made you sad. Use what each person shares to talk about God and about living a Godly life. If they share that a classmate was mean to them, talk about how they should respond. If they share that they got in trouble or were mean to another, talk about asking for forgiveness from others and from God. When they share something that made them happy, praise God together. Whatever is shared can be an open door for your ongoing conversation about God.
“When you are on the road.”You can also use the time you travel to school or around the city as an opportunity to have Godly conversations. Often their friends’ behavior or other situations at school will spur conversation and be an opportunity to talk about God. You can talk about how it’s important to treat others kindly and speak encouraging words. If there is a new kid in their class, you can encourage them to be welcoming. Use what is happening in their world to teach them about Godly character. If kids learn at a young age to see that God is a part of everyday life, it will be easier for them to continue to see how He works in their lives as they grow older.
“When you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” These are excellent moments we all can take advantage of. Right before bed is a perfect time to stop, talk with your kids, and pray with them. Their hearts are often most open and tender in these moments. Pause and pray with them at least, but also read a story from their Bible together. Read the Bible and pray together when you wake and have breakfast too. This will help everyone in the family start their day with the right focus.
Anytime. There are many opportunities to talk to your kids and there is no wrong time. It’s not just ONE conversation where you explain the Gospel to them. It is through many small moments and an ongoing conversation that your kids will see that God is the center of your lives and He permeates everything you do.