Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 031 - How to Lay Groundwork for Your Child to Build a Life of Faith
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #031 – How to Lay Groundwork for Your Child to Build a Life of Faith
Thank you for listening to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast. My prayer is that you and I will parent with purpose and confidently connect with Christ and our children moment by moment.
Reading with my daughters has always been a joy for me. I remember the very first night my middle daughter, Marissa came home to us when she was ten months old. After about 36 hours of traveling, my husband, our precious new baby, and I were exhausted. When we finally arrived home from the airport, we felt dirty, hungry, and ready to clean up, unpack, and get to bed. Instead, we needed to acclimate our sweet baby to a new home. While in China, she had finally accepted us and adjusted to the hotel we were staying in, right before we had to whisk her off to another new place. There was no way she could comprehend that this was the end to her journey. She was finally home.
I remember carrying her around the house, taking her into every room, showing her new surroundings. I kept my voice soft and gentle, and while carrying her close to me, I swayed her, rocked her, and fed her, but nothing soothed her. I finally paid attention to the thought that continued to press into my mind. “Read to her.” Before we had left for China, I had prepared her room, so I went to the rocking chair we purchased for her nursery, sat down, and picked up “The “Story of Jesus” book we had received at one of our baby showers from the small table next to the chair.
I honestly didn’t think my ten month old would appreciate a book. Certainly she wasn’t old enough to be soothed by me reading to her, especially since she was just getting used to me and the sound of my voice. Nevertheless, I followed the still, small command in my mind and began reading as I held her in my lap. Instantly, tears stopped flowing and her cries ceased. “The Story of Jesus” worked what felt like a miracle that night, just like Jesus Himself has done for so long.
What miracles do we overlook daily?
What signs and wonders are still shown today?
Study the life and miracles of Jesus in Scripture so that you are growing in your walk with Him moment by moment. Learn to seek the deeper meanings of the miracles He performed. Remember that He still performs miracles today.
John 20:30-31 says, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.”
Share the wonder and miracles of Christ with your children. The book of John is a wonderful place to begin filling your child with curiosity and amazement at the power and life of Christ.
John 2:11 says, “What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which He revealed his glory; and His disciples believed in Him.”
The word “sign” in this verse was used by John because he was referring to displays of magnificent authority and glory executed by Jesus. Through faith, those present were able to witness divine events in the midst of ordinary days. Jesus, however, did not use these miracles to show His power or self. The signs carried a significance beyond the acts Jesus performed; they laid holy evidence of sacred power and majesty.
The Book of John, Chapter 2 shares eight particular signs that showcase and give glory to the significance of Christ.
Signs & Significance = Jesus is/has:
John 2:1-12 - Jesus turns water into wine proving He is The Source of Life
John 4:46-54 - Jesus heals a nobleman’s son - proving He is Master over distance
John 5:1-17 - Jesus heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda proving He is Master over Time
John 6:1-14 - Jesus feeds 5,000 proving He is The Bread of Life
John 6:15-21 - Jesus walks on water and stills a storm proving He is Master over Nature
John 9:1-41 - Jesus heals a man who was blind from birth - proving He is The Light of the World
John 11:17-45 - Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead - proving He has Power over Death
John 21:6 - Jesus causes an abundant fish catch proving He is Master over Animals
When taught about Jesus, children cannot resist the miraculous feats of Jesus. Their minds are open and ready to learn of Jesus and to accept the groundwork of a strong and lasting faith. As you read these stories, present them in age-appropriate ways. Pay attention to the interests and characteristics of your child or children. Consider how they learn. There are so many options for teaching about Christ in fun, exciting, and serious ways. You can choose to draw stories on a white or chalk board, or on paper, you may use felt pieces, dolls, or costumes, or you can simply read from the Bible and discuss study notes together. Children are filled with wonder. They easily grow a desire for Christ and an understanding of His holy power and meaning in their life. Enable them to begin viewing Him as the Authority and one who cares for them in every way.
Laying the groundwork for our children to build a life of faith consists of many small, intentional acts of eternal perspective.
If you think back to my story at the beginning of this podcast, the reaction my baby had to hearing “The Story of Jesus” led me to begin reading many books to her right away. Enjoying reading and stories together has always been a delightful time of bonding, imagination, and dreams. Marissa began going to the library before she was a year old and the outing was always something she seemed to look forward to. Beyond strong literature with beautiful illustrations, however, she was exposed to Bible stories from that first night home. It was such a gift to see her calmed by the book I read to her that first night. I recognized that my Heavenly Father was at work, already constructing the foundation for a lifetime of faith for my child if I would remain faithful to Him in mentoring and discipling her.
It's never too early to expose our children to Bible stories and truths that will grow their interest and knowledge of Christ.
Children easily see miraculous signs. They are awed by the amazing acts of Jesus. This is the groundwork parents can use to train children to look deeper into Who Jesus is and to construct faith based on the significance of His signs and wonders. The stories of Jesus will draw them in and allow them to pay attention to the man who will change everything about their life and identity if they welcome Him.
Matthew 19:14 says, “Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
It’s never too late to honor the Lord in the way you mentor Him to your child.
Expectant mothers have the beautiful gift of preparing their heart and deepening their personal walk with Jesus before her precious baby arrives. How beautiful it is to look into the future and imagine what life God would desire for your baby. I suggest expectant mothers prayerfully compose a list of the attributes God would desire your baby to have. Write down where you see your child in a year, five years, ten years, as a teen, and when they graduate from high school. Locate Scripture to write prayers to guide the development of your child in godly ways. Seek God’s plans and follow His promptings.
Mothers of newborns have the blessing of singing or speaking God’s Word over their children. Reading Scripture to your baby is a wonderful way to introduce them to the Bible. They will grow up with reverence for the Word and know where to find answers to life situations if they are accustomed to hearing His Word and seeing you study Scripture. The same applies to toddlers and preschoolers. You can also enjoy Bible devotionals together. Short times of study and prayer together become a staple in the lifestyle your child expects and deserves.
As your child matures, continue to pray with them and ask them to pray with you. Seek God together when they have questions or problems. Help them acquire the habit of always seeking their Heavenly Father in all situations. There are so many ways to make Him known. Nature walks, Bible studies, life situations, as well as the trials and tragedies in this world are all moments you can share with your child. As you naturally invite God into every moment of life, your child will do the same. Discipling a child from birth is a blessed way to enjoy a life of joy together.
What if you came to know Christ later in life? What if you did not grow your Christian faith until your children were older? While you are breathing on this earth, it’s never too late to mature and deepen your personal walk with Jesus and mentor your child to do the same. If your child is a teen without Christ or even an adult, allow them to see the changes Christ makes in your life. Remember that every action and reaction you make, the words you speak, the attitude you carry is a reflection on the God you follow. As you grow in Him, the changes you make visible will greatly impact those around you when you give the Lord glory and credit.
Our children, no matter the age, are precious to God. They matter to Him because He created them with intention and for a purpose. The greatest gift He offered each of us was His own Son and He deeply desires that we make Him known to our children.
Dear Heavenly Father, there truly is none like You. That You have such a love for us, despite what we feel for You is astounding. That You allow us to influence the children You personally crafted with intention and for great purposes is a miracle I never forget. Please help us to remember the price Jesus paid to allow us to come to You now and for eternity. Help us to see our children with Your eyes full of love, mercy, and grace. Help us to desire to raise them as You call us to. Help us to mentor You in ways only possible as we cling to You and allow Your mighty hands to carry us. May our children have great faith and desire for You. May they find You now and cultivate close relationship with You on purpose. Help us to please You as we parent. Thank you for Your beautiful gifts. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to the “Purposed Parent/Connected Child” podcast. This and my “Live With Eternal Perspective” podcast may be found at terrihitt.com, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and they are part of the Spark Media Network. Both podcasts may also now be found on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place for your listening enjoyment.
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Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will sway them away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Parent and Connect With Eternal Perspective.