Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1001 Ways to Introduce Your Child to God

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Last month, I stumbled onto a book at a local church library, and immediately knew I wanted to bring it home for further reading.

I love the Scripture passage the author shares at the beginning as her basis for teaching even babies about God and His character: "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:14-15

The book is divided into chapters that each focus on a different characteristic, such as trust, obedience, kindness, and even witnessing. Within each chapter, the author gives lots of ideas (songs, crafts, and games) for parents to implement with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

To be honest, I found many of the ideas to be too cheesy for my style, but I love the intention behind the book. I wrote down a couple dozen ideas to try with my kids, and I will plan to share those that are effective at a later time.

The book ends with a parent's prayer: "O Lord, You have graciously given me a tiny child to teach and to lead to a personal knowledge of You. I first give my own life to You as my source of forgiveness, salvation, security, and strength. I am not sufficient for this task, but You are . . . through me. Use me, enable me, guide my steps, and graciously provide the godly wisdom and power that I will need daily. Keep me consistent in word and example, and please compensate for my inevitable errors. I am totally dependent upon You to introduce Your Infinite Self to my child, O Lord, my strength and redeemer. Amen."

If that prayer wasn't inspiring enough in our role as the spiritual leaders in our home, then surely this is:

"We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands." Psalm 78:4-7

Have any of you heard of or read this book? What did you think? I look forward to sharing more specific examples from the book soon.

Note: When linking to the copy I've reviewed above, I noticed there's a companion book for introducing kids to the Bible, so I plan to look into that title as well.

P.S. Another of my book reviews was featured in this month's edition of Comfort Cafe. Check it out here!


Kara K said...

This is a great post - thanks for sharing!

Kristin said...

I haven't heard of that book, Carrie. But I will be curious to hear of some of the things you implement and gleaning from your ideas! Thanks for the review!


Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I may have to look for that book. Funny that you posted this today, as that verse from Deuteronomy was brought up today in my bible study. I happened to mentioned that after more than a decade in youth work, my husband and I have noticed various trends with kids. The biggest being that if the parents are not strong in their faith and impressing it upon their kids, their kids will not grow in their own faith. There are, of course, exceptions, but they are rare.

Also, when the father isn't the spiritual leader in the home, their sons almost never come back to church after high school. I wish it weren't so, but we've seen it happen again and again and again over the years. I think parents often just don't realize how very important it is to introduce faith in God in the home, and then reinforce it daily.

thehomespunheart said...

Carrie, I've never heard of this book! Glad you found a few ideas to try, will look forward to hearing your experiences.

Love you,

Mom said...

Dear Carrie,
I always enjoy your book reviews. :) I had not heard of this book -- it sounds like a good resource.

I also checked out your review at Comfort Cafe -- I had heard of that book, but have not read it. I especially appreciated the paragraph about Faulty Focus and this line: "We say we want more faith, but really what we want is sight."

Thanks for sharing -- love, Mom

Katie said...

I had not heard of this book, Carrie, but I agree with you ~ I love the intent behind it. So important ~ truly our primary responsibility and privilege as a parent! Love the verses you emphasized in Psalm 78 ~ a command I hope to obey with all my heart! Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this. (Btw, I love perusing church libraries...often so many good books to study!)

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Apparently, you have some influence, as I wound up ordering the book on Amazon. ;-) Thanks for the recommendation. I'm going to need all the help I can get!