Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fostering Our Kids' Faith At Home

"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.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-9, NIV

In an age where the modern world offers so many programs to meet our needs, it becomes almost too easy for us to get lax in our God-given responsibilities.  Take for instance, the role of instilling and growing faith in a child.  That job was intended to be taught and reinforced continually in the home and supported in the church.  But when a parent is dealing with the exhausting demands of dealing with special needs, Christian formation can easily fall to the back burner or be relegated to one hour on a Sunday.

Read the words of Moses from Deuteronomy.  He emphasizes that the commands of God be incorporated in an ongoing way.  While that can sound exhausting, the good news is that there are SO many ways for parents of children with unique challenges to just make faith a matter of course in things that they do at home.  Here are a few fresh ideas to stimulate your personal creativity.

Do you have a child with sensory issues?  How about having your child use some scented pencils to find the hidden objects in a faith-based activity book or color in a character-building coloring book at the kitchen table while you're making dinner?

Is manual dexterity an issue?  How about using some magnets or stickers to help build your child's faith during play time at home!   Simple puzzles can be great to reinforce the message at home too.

Engaging with our children in a variety of ways can be the key to getting God's message of hope across while still keeping our sanity.  I'm referring to things such as reading wonderful books together from Max Lucado's Hermie & Friends Series or Wemmicks Series.  These can open up conversations with your precious ones about fitting in or dealing with differences in daily life.  Lucado does a superb job of conveying the love of Christ to children through these books.  Another example might be singing songs together from any number of Bible songs collections that are available.  Music can offer a much better opportunity for our kids to retain the words we are trying to impress upon them.  Doing simple craft activities together at home can present a fun, relaxing way to discuss faith with our children.  In the photo in this post, my daughter and I are making tie dyed t-shirts.  When doing something simple like this, a parent can talk about the rainbow being God's promise to Noah or the color can be an opportunity to present "The Wordless Book" to your child. 

While any of these traditional ideas are wonderful, there are amazing new technological tools now available as well.  With many parents beginning to look at the miraculous use of the iPad to aid their special child, Bible apps can be a huge blessing for faith-building at home.  The list of these tools is bound to grow over time.

As you can see, the possibilities are limited only by your own imagination.  And if you click on the links I've provided here, you'll also see that most of these ideas are also extremely affordable.  Let's rise to the occasion and answer the call to raise our children to be faithful lovers of the Lord by keeping them engaged at home.


PRAY:  God, help me to obey Your call to raise my children to love and know You.  Prime the pump of creativity when I don't know how to convey Your message to them.  And help me to always remind them how very much You love them!

*Join us every Thursday night at 7:30 PM, CST to discuss faith and special needs at http://tweetchat.com/room/spnmin  For more information how TweetChat works, visit our Facebook event announcement at
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=231010220284689

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