Raising the next generations of Christians

Crystle and I were talking the other night about how one goes about training up children in the faith. We were talking about how there’s two schools of thought on the subject:

  1. “Age-appropriate” children’s messages based on Biblical truths, like devotional books.
  2. The Bible is plenty age-appropriate and doesn’t need anything to “translate” it for kids – you just need to talk about the Scriptures as you read.

There may be other methods, or a combination of the two, but these were the two we were discussing.

Personally, I don’t much like ‘devotional’ books – I don’t really enjoy the ‘sit around the table after dinner while we read a mildly entertaining story and attempt to pull some spiritual truths from it’ type of thing. From my talks with other Christians, nobody enjoyed family devotions as a kid and felt like they reaped any sort of reward from them!

I really like the idea of reading Scripture with our kids – reading it, dissecting it, and really understanding it together. The only thing is – I don’t even know how to do that for myself, let alone teach my children to do it! Scripture reading was not something that was ever modeled for me, and I find it challenging to be disciplined enough to read my Bible every day. Can I possibly be disciplined enough to both read my Bible every day and ensure that my children are being spiritually fed by Brad and I?

I have a feeling that this parenthood thing is going to be the catalyst for a whole lot of spiritual growing-up for me … and maybe I’m crazy, but I’m really looking forward to it!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Raising the next generations of Christians

  1. I think I remember a meeting where our pastor was very exited about some Bibles and other books for children of various ages. I’m sure he’s be happy to share some info.

    dave

    p.s.: perhaps many rewards that we reap are from activities that we do not enjoy. i suspect i could find a number of people who have benefited from dinner time devotions.

  2. appolus

    HI Guys..Children will grow up and will stand or fall based on what they saw growing up. If they see Jesus in you, the parents, then you will have done your job. If they do not see Jesus in you, then there is little to no chance of them ever coming into a genuine relationship with the Lord. The best advice for any parents is to get close to God and stay there. Everything else will fall into place.Now you just have to seek Him out, ah now there’s the rub(although if you want to, He will be found)…..Frank
    http://scottishwarriors.wordpress.com

  3. the big sister

    maybe i’m in the minority but i really enjoyed the devotional books (if by those you mean the stories & coloring books we had as children); i remember them so well & was enthralled by the tales. for me, i did reap the rewards – at the time – obv. its different for me (for us) now but if i were to raise liam believing in one faith i would choose that route to begin with. (hope this comment doesn’t offend anyone!)

  4. kimschell

    Dave – don’t get me wrong, I think there’s definite value to be had in children’s Christian books and Bibles … I just don’t want to get caught up in the latest book “craze” and skip out on the meat and potatoes of our faith.

    Frank – thanks for your comment! I heartily agree – modeling a relationship with God is by far the greatest way to teach children!

    Jenny – why would your comment offend anyone?? I’m glad you enjoyed the colouring and story books we had as kids – I definitely enjoyed them too!! I just don’t feel like I got a *real* taste of what Christianity was all about from them … for young, young kids, I think that type of introduction is wonderful … I just want to move beyond that and deeper as our kids grow up. I want their faith to grow up too, instead of staying in that Sunday School state that I know mine stayed in for a long, long while!

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