Q. How does
one encourage and cultivate a love for the Lord and His Word in
Cultivating a love for the Lord and
His word “Starts with You.” In Scripture, God
specifically places the responsibility for nurturing a child’s
spiritual development on parents as seen in Deuteronomy
6:1-7 and Psalm 78. We are told to seek God and His word for
discovering the values we should pass on to our children. The
most powerful influence we have during our children’s early
spiritual formations occurs through how we love and relate to them
daily amidst the easy and difficult times.
I feel it’s also important to
“begin with the end in mind.” Think through the
foundational truths and values that are most important to your
family, as that will dictate how you invest your time and money.
Deuteronomy 6:1-7 was a pivotal
verse in guiding me as a new believing mom. I especially like
the wording from The Message. We see in verse 5 that we must first
love God 100% with all that we have. Rarely will you meet a
young child who doesn’t want to be like their parents. God
knew the key to the successful transmission of His truth
and values would be a passionate and personal parent. v5
“Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all
that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got.”
Next I see that it is imperative
that I know and follow God’s commands and then I am to teach them to
my children. I like how the New Living Translation said, ”v7
we are to repeat them again and again to our children.” This is
consistent, continual, and repetitive teaching. v6-9
“Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts.
Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children.
Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the
street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to
when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and
foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes
and on your city gates.”
Let me share 5 practical ways
for passing on your faith.
Be an example.
Our children will mimic us as we are their ultimate role
models. The saying goes, more is caught than actually taught.
A spiritually engaged parent will often rub off on their
children. How do your children see you respond to hard
situations – do you run to others or turn to God?
Be passionate about
God’s word. Psalm
119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
We must think through and apply God’s instructions to our daily
life issues (anger, complaining, love, hope, patience, etc.).
When I had a child who struggled with lying together we would
find out what the bible said about lying. There are many great
topical reference guides on biblical child training.
Be real and interested.
Share why God is important to you and the impact He has had in your
life. Thankfully I didn’t have to have a degree in theology to
impart biblical truth to my children. Yes, my girls asked many
questions I did not know but together we learned.
I suggest having a plan for family devotions and prayer.
There are so many wonderful devotionals available for parents these
days. Find one that appeals to you because your excitement will come
across to your children. As a family we pray before meals and at
bedtime. We pray as a need arises (i.e. when we see an accident
or someone is hurt or struggling). If our children see us
praying throughout the day they realize the importance of
prayer and will participate. With consistency over time you will
build a precious habit of faith.
Be missional together. Jesus
came to serve and therefore we should find ways to serve our church,
neighborhood, city and the world together as a family. Find ways you
can serve others. When the girls were young we visited a local
nursing home weekly, worked with a homeless ministry and went on
family mission trips. By serving together our daughters have learned
valuable lessons that they continue to practice today.
May God bless your family as you
train up your children to love God and His word.