The Most Important Habit to Teach Your Kids
Do you have a child who struggles – or just doesn’t care – to attend to the daily habits of life?
My younger daughter is notorious in our home for failing to accomplish the mundane but necessary tasks each day brings. She’s 10 years old, a wonderful child and an excellent student, yet she often doesn’t brush her teeth, comb her hair, put her personal belongings away or take care of other day-to-day responsibilities without reminders from her parents. My wife and I have tried various measures short of hypnotism but with only middling success.
As much as we remind, prod, nag, force and discipline her to get these things done, another daily practice deserves just as much and even more of her energy and our emphasis.
I’m talking about devoting time each day to studying God’s Word.
One of the most essential spiritual disciplines for Christians is daily Bible study. Without regularly feeding on Scripture, we won’t grow spiritually. Neither will our kids.
This habit is just as vital for born-again children and youth to start as it is for adults. If our kids don’t develop the daily discipline of personal Bible study under our tutelage before they leave the home, will they realistically pick up this habit when they’re on their own? I know from my experience that I didn’t learn this practice till I was in my mid-20s. It’s a discipline I wish my parents had ingrained in me when I was growing up. It would have made a huge difference in my young adult years.
How many of us as parents emphasize the value of daily “quiet time” with God and encourage its practice with our kids?
Our churches’ Sunday school classes, Awana and youth groups can teach our children that this spiritual discipline is important. But the average church-going child spends two to three hours a week at church. Our child’s church teachers and leaders aren’t with her every day to ingrain this habit.
We as parents are.
The only way our kids will incorporate daily Bible study into their lives is if we as parents model it, teach it and – when our children reach the age and spiritual level where they’re ready to own this discipline – integrate it into our kids’ day-to-day routines.
What does this look like in a real-life home? Tomorrow, when I ask my daughter if she’s brushed her hair and teeth, hung up her coat, done her homework and put away her dirty clothes, I need to pose to her another question: Did you spend time with God today? In fact, that’s the first question I should ask.
What are you doing to prepare your kids to have daily quiet times or to get your kids to spend time each day in the Bible?
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 at 5:10 pm and is filed under Bible and Bible memory, Discipleship, Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.