Raising a Samuel

Oh how we love our precious grandkids! They are each so special to us in their own amazing way. Our six year old grandson, Arken, has a such a sweet spirit. After a recent prayer, he told his mom, “I really feel like the Lord spoke to my heart that if I will stop lying He’ll answer my prayers.” So precious!  The beauty of this is that at an early age he is learning how to hear the Lord speaking to his heart.

We have previously talked about our kids learning to communicate with God and talking about the good things of the Lord. I’d like to share now about the beauty of teaching our children to love to hear from God.  

We want our kids to know that not only can they talk to God, but that He talks to them.

It’s important to teach our kids that the Bible is God speaking to us.                         

We would all love to have the Lord sit down with us on the sofa and have a good conversation. Won’t it be wonderful when we can do that? Well, since that can’t happen yet, we want to learn to hear from God through words that He had penned just for us.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

The Bible is the most exciting book any kid could ever read. If they like war, action, super hero drama, love stories, watching people get out of extreme impossible situations, or learning about the royal majesty of Heaven, then they will absolutely love to read the Bible. I suggest getting the NLT version since it basically says the same thing as the KJV but in a language the kids will understand and enjoy. Having them start in the New Testament where they will learn about Jesus their Savior is a great place to begin. The Bible shows us the character of the God we serve and how to get to know Him.  It will show us God’s power and that He is capable of doing what no other hero could ever do.

If they can begin by reading even one chapter a day, that is a great start.  If they are too small to read, then we as parents can read to them. Remember to read with excitement and they will get into it too! They will look forward to Bible time.

When they are old enough to read on their own, you can put it on their daily to-do list.  Maybe have them read to you while cooking dinner or riding in the car and talk about what they read and how it may relate to them. As adults, one day they will have to live by God’s Word to survive, but they must first know the tremendous value and develop a desire to be led by the Word of God. As you know, the Bible has the answer to every problem and every situation. Always remember…

God’s Word is God speaking to us for edification, instruction, guidance and enjoyment.

If we teach our children that God is their best friend then they will always want to know Him more. This will give them the desire at a young age to not only read the Bible but to love the precious Word of God. Who wouldn’t want to get letters from their best friend? We want them to know that He is always here for them in every situation of their lives. They need to be reminded constantly that God loves them and cares about every need they will ever have. They need to be assured that God will speak to them through His Word, so they learn to go to Him throughout their life.

Let’s encourage them to memorize God’s Word.  

An incredible way to memorize scriptures is to be a part of a Bible quizzing team. What a perfect way for kids to learn the Word of God. If this an available option for your child, it’s an awesome opportunity.

When our kids were little we always had our devotion before school that included reading some scriptures to memorize. I distinctly remember one day when Jason was about 10 years old. He was going to public school that year and it was hard on us to send him off on that bus with kids who did not serve the Lord. That morning I was encouraging him with Psalm 119:11…

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

I wanted that Word to be so impacting on him so he would always know what keeps us from sin. It gave me much peace to see him walking down the sidewalk to the bus stop while repeating that scripture over and over again.  

God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. (Psalm 119:105) We as parents must know the value it has on the future of our kids.  If their Sunday School class gives out memory verses weekly, take the time to go over them daily so it goes deep into their heart. Making Bible verses into a song is another great way to help children memorize God’s Word.

They need to know that God will speak to their heart.  

This is not something that many kids will learn at a young age, and yet it definitely can happen. We know the story of Samuel and when he was just a young boy he heard the voice of the Lord.  We know there are so many voices filling the heads of our kids, so it’s important to know how to recognize which voice is God’s.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…” John 10:27

If your child ever tells you that God told them something, take time to listen to what they say they heard and then dissect it with them. The best way to know if it’s God telling us something would be:

  • Does it agree with God’s Word or is it contrary to what the Bible says on that subject? God will never go against His written Word.
  • Does it makes common sense?  For example…if they tell you God told them to stay home from school because their term paper is not finished, that would probably not come from the Lord. 🙂

On another occasion, Arken asked his mom how he will know if God is speaking to him? It’s so important that our children have a personal relationship with their creator. A relationship that gives them a desire to know more about the Lord, talk more to the Lord and listen to what He has to say to them.  This, my sweet parent, is part of creating a masterpiece.

To Do:  Move up a notch and make the Bible a more desired way to get to know the Lord more in your family. Let it be talked about more, memorized more and respected more.  Find a fun way to teach God’s Word to your kids. Make it exciting and something they look forward to. Get online to find a Bible game or buy one.

Suggested Family Time:  Karaoke is always a fun family thing to do.  Have each family member(yes, Dad too!) sing along. Let each person have their time to shine. Applaud and make them feel famous! This is sure to bring laughs, smiles and great memories. Don’t forget to catch it on video!

Time to Smile:  One summer evening during a violent thunderstorm a mother was tucking her son into bed. She was about to turn off the light when he asked with a tremor in his voice  “Mommy, will you sleep with me tonight?” The mother smiled and gave him a reassuring hug. “I can’t dear,” she said. “I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence was broken at last by his shaky little voice…”The big sissy.”

Recommended Reading:  The book of Proverbs. It will give insight and knowledge into raising our kids, and it’s God doing the speaking.  When our son, Jason, turned 16 years old, I spent time taking scriptures from Proverbs and created a hardbound book separating them into categories such as honesty, managing money, wisdom, dealing with conflict, etc. Words for people of all ages to live by!

Previous Recap: To Know Him is to Love Him. How is the journey going of your kids learning to talk to God? I recommend getting a journal and jotting down all the amazing, funny and interesting things they say or do as they learn. We likely forget them if we don’t. Those writings will brighten your day when your nest is empty and you live on memories of your children’s childhood.