Something my husband and I are learning how to do (and we are talking about progression, not perfection) is having more time where we talk with our boys about Jesus and the Bible.
And if you have preschoolers, then you know that their attention spans for non-televised viewing is fairly short (one of the pitfalls of our media-driven culture). So, unless you have creative animals, paid sound effect personnel,and a storyboard producer – your nightly devotions might not live up to Daniel Tiger or the Octonaughts.
But, getting the Bible into your children, teaching them about Jesus, and loving them the way Jesus would love them (by the Spirit’s help) is the most important thing you could ever do for your children.
So, currently, my older son is just about to turn three. He loves books. So each night, we put our younger to bed (we read Good Night North Carolina and Goodnight Moon and a Sandra Boynton book and pray with him) and then scoot over to our older son’s bedroom and read a book with him. We are reading Read and Share 5 Minute Bible Stories (that I just got from Tommy Nelson – thank you). Our son loves it. It is short, great vibrant pictures just like in the Read and Share Bible which we also like, and its big (so even if he doesn’t have his glasses on, he can follow along. I love how even now (we are in the Moses story) it focuses on the work of God throughout the Bible – and not the men on earth who fail and are sinners. The whole Bible points to God and Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and the Spirit who indwells in believers. I want that to be what our son gets from reading the Bible.
So, when you are just starting out:
- Be simple and short. Attention spans are short. Keep your kids’ focus by reading something, asking questions, and praying. It doesn’t have to be long – just consistent.
- Utilize good resources. There are so many out there. I recommend this bible story book, and catechisms for kids. So many other tools out there, especially as your children get older.
- Be faithful. God will reward even the smallest. He wants your children to know Him too.
- Pray that God would capture your child’s heart! You can’t do it yourself. The greatest parents in the world can’t make their kids love Jesus. Only He can!
If you want to win a copy of the Bible story book I talk about here, then all you have to do is answer the question: what is one way you are teaching your children about God? I’ll pick a winner Sunday night!
Thanks for posting this! This is something we are trying to be more diligent and routine about. We use the Big Picture Story Bible and try to read a story per night, and sometimes the same story multiple nights. I want to look into some scripture memory ideas for this age too. Thanks for sharing the resources that your family uses, I’m interested to look at them!
I definitely want to start Scripture memory with them both! SRC just learned how to say Bible this morning and he usually watches E read his Bible in the morning since he gets up early with him.
Thank you for what you shared Kim! One way we are trying to teach our toddler about the Lord is by playing the “Jesus Storybook Bible” read on CDs while we are in the car. Our almost three year old has learned to love these stories so much that he has asked us to bring the CDs inside so he can listen to them while playing. I am amazed at how much he has memorized just by listening to them so much. Even though he doesn’t understand that much, he asks me questions all the time about the things he hears (ex. Why did Adam and Eve disobey God Mommy?). It has been a good thing for our family!
Oh Alisa – so true, right? I love that and its so encouraging to know that our kids do pick up things – and it also is an encouragement to watch our tongues and actions around them! 🙂 Be encouraged as a Mommy!
Great post! We use the “Read and Share” Devotional and it is good on applying God’s Word in the lives of older preschoolers.
Forgot to mention the devotion book is by Gwen Ellis.
Oh yes – the devotion book is a good one Carla!
Hey Kim, love your thoughts on this! It has been hard at times finding good resources that aren’t just morals and values with a bible verse taped on, so I appreciate your recommendation! We’ve worked some on catechisms, memorize a verse a week (most of the time), but one thing I’ve found has helped a lot of our talks is the question “will you please forgive me?” Around 2 when they disobeyed they would have to say sorry and will you please forgive me, to which I’d reply “of course I will!” along with a big hug. Then I wouldn’t bring it up again. I hope this sticks with them as they grow, that when they turn to God and confess, He will be faithful to forgive.