I’ve had God Stories on the blog for many years. One of the ones that have influenced me the most is Kristi Dye’s God Story “When I Started Listening.” Her story shared five years ago has influenced my parenting by making me a much more intentional mama. Because of it, I can tell you:
- Why I invite one son to join me with Root Beer and another with Lemonade.
- Why I play music in the car when one is upset.
- Why I invite one to sit on my lap and another outside.
- Why I play basketball after supper.
- Why I build with Legos before lunch.
- Why I race in MarioKart before bedtime.
- Why I invite one son to garden with me and another to read.
If I hadn’t learned this lesson from Kristi, I would be tempted to do things my own way. …To connect with my kids in ways I enjoy. …To try to help my kids connect with God in ways I thought were best.
Being a student of my children means I look for ways to build a relationship between them and me and between them and God in the ways that work best for them — in the special, unique ways God made them.
When I try a one-size-fits-all approach, I risk teaching them that God only relates to them in one way. It would be like only offering them one way to play such as building with Lincoln Logs. They might grow up thinking that because they don’t like to build with Lincoln Logs then they really don’t like to play when, as we all know, there are so many other ways to play!
The same is true with God. When we forget to be a student of our children and show them the many ways they can relate to God, we risk them growing up to think that they really don’t like being a Christian or in relationship with God, when that’s not the case at all!
Try this today. Find a favorite Bible story. One of mine is the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 in John 6:1-15. Before you read it with your kids, think through what types of things they enjoy. Do they like to play dress up, build, touch everything, draw, figure things out, learn about places?
Say they like to dress up or build. You could read the story to them at breakfast or lunch and then encourage them to act it out or build it during play time. You could even offer to take video or pictures once they’re done.
Maybe they like to touch everything. You could give them some bread (or fish if you have it on hand) and let them eat the bread and fish as you read the story.
If they like to figure out how things work or learn about places, possibly do some research on your phone about the Sea of Galilee and the people who lived at that time.
All of these activities would only take a few minutes and little preparation, but they would make a big difference in helping the Bible story come alive for your kids and teaching them to connect with God and the Bible in ways that speak to their hearts.
Today, let’s become students of our children, to learn how to connect with them better ourselves, but most importantly, to help them begin to build a lifetime of faith.
Check out Kristi’s God Story here to learn more about being a student of your children. So good!
And learn more about how to help your child connect to God in their own unique ways in Christie Thomas’ new book that I contributed to and edited called Sacred Pathways: 9 Ways to Guide your Child Into Relationship with Jesus that launches today!
You can get it by clicking the image below:
In it you’ll discover:
- Your child’s Sacred Pathway
- What that Pathway means for them
- Ways to help them connect to Jesus
- Activities you can do together
- Resources to use
This book is just one more way to help you become a student of your children and use that information to help them build a lifelong relationship with God.