How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word.
I have tried hard to find you—
don’t let me wander from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
I praise you, O Lord;
teach me your decrees.
I have recited aloud
all the regulations you have given us.
I have rejoiced in your laws
as much as in riches.
I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
I will delight in your decrees
and not forget your word.
Even though our children may be young, it is never too early to begin reading God’s Word to them and helping them see the importance of a relationship with Him.
In our own lives, we can sometimes let the busyness of life keep us from making God’s Word a priority in our lives. But, this is such a huge mistake! We must make it a daily habit to be in His Word each day. There is no greater habit that we can pass on to our children than spending time in His Word every day.
Our favorite Bible to read to our children is The Beginner’s Bible. The stories come straight from the Bible and are written in a way that children can understand easily. The pictures are bright and really catch our children’s attention. Our son can’t wait to read a Bible story from it each night.
As we read the Bible with our children at night, we also like to help them realize the importance of praying for those who have not had a chance to learn about Jesus yet.
A few months ago, I printed off a map on 11x17 paper and we hung it in one of our son’s room. Each night, we read a book which talks about a country in need of Christ. We point to the country on the map and then we spend some time in prayer for the people living there. We ordered You Can Changethe World: Learning to Pray for People Around the World. Another book that looks good and I just found online is Window on the World. Or, the International Mission Board has a set of 25 prayer cards for kids that includes pictures and prayer requests. All of the cards go on a ring and they are brightly colored. You can make your own prayer cards by going to operationworld.org and signing up for the daily emails. They will send you a country to pray for each day. I have been surprised at the impression this has made on our 3 year old son. He is very concerned about the people who do not know Jesus and he is very interested in where they live on the map. It is neat to watch him be filled with compassion for others.
Another book we like to read is one that teaches a verse each week in correspondence with the alphabet. It’s a great tool for Scripture memory with a corresponding story about the verse as it goes along with the alphabet. It's called My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts.
As the verses in Psalms tell us, we must "hide God's Word in our heart..." How do we do this? We do this by making it first priority in our own lives and by meditating on His Word each day. Then, His Words will overflow from our mouths and we will be able to teach them to our children. We don't even need a fancy children's book to do this!
May we take the time to spend in God's Word each day so that it will overflow from our mouths and make a lasting impression on the hearts of our precious children.
What are your favorite devotional books for your kids???