David Stone, Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY, has a great book on raising kids to love the lord. In one of the chapters, he talked about our three best shots for meaningful moments with our children each day:
1) Travel Time – I don’t know of many who will argue that we are in the car a lot! We’re either heading to a practice or a game, going to school or running errands. For whatever reason, kids open up in the car. Maybe it’s because there is no eye contact. Maybe it’s because there is uninterrupted time. Use travel time for conversations, questions and for listening. If it’s one on one time, that’s great. If it’s a group of people in the car – either the whole family or friends – you can also learn about your child in the way they respond and talk to others. Pray for your children before they leave for the day of school. Ask how things went at practice. Talk about plans for the future. Travel time can create moments with your kids.
2) Dinner Time – Make every effort to have dinner with your kids regularly. Don’t miss those moments. Family dinner time provides an opportunity to build traditions. You can take turns praying. You can read a verse of scripture. You can all take turns asking a question. Dinner time creates a framework for turning off devices and unplugging for a few moments. Face to face conversation happens. It may be the only time you look your family in the eyes during the day. There are countless stats about the benefits of a family dinner at least four or five nights a week. Use these times to love, teach and share with your children.
3) Bed Time – This may be the most important. Being with your children as they are heading to bed provides a security that cannot be underestimated. In those routines, as your child is getting ready to sleep, you are able to instill your love for them, you are able to pray with them and you’re able to keep communication open. There are questions kids will ask at bedtime that will never come up otherwise. Pray with your kids before they go to sleep. Let them pray too, it’s a great time to learn. Read the Bible.
I love the prayer that Dave Stone said was always weaved into his mother’s prayer for him: “Dear God, I can’t wait to see how you are going to use David for your glory.”
That’s going to be a prayer that I’m going to start praying. I want my daughters to grow up, not wondering if they will be used for God’s glory, but how.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 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. Duet 6:5-7