In Deuteronomy 6 the word of God instructs us as parents to use the everyday situations that mark our lives to teach our kids about God. Paul echoes this sentiment by instructing the Corinthian church is 1 Corithians 10:31 to glorify God even in the mundane activities like eating and drinking. There are endless numbers of ways parents can take these passages and instruct their child’s heart through the common and mundane aspects and events of life. Here are ten general ones to help you get started.
Give thanks together. Meal times and grocery shopping provide very tangible ways to connect our necessities with God’s provision. Most of us will habitually give thanks to God for the food we’re about to eat but perhaps the next time you are in the grocery store give thanks to God with you kids for the food you are about to buy.
Retell stories of God’s faithfulness. When you go for a walk, ride in the car, or during bedtime recall a time in your life when God displayed his faithfulness to your family. Perhaps it was after you had prayed a long time for one of your kids to be born. Let them know how God answered your prayer. Remember that hard time God brought you through? Remember years before it ever happened, thinking if He ever did that you’d never be able to handle it? Do you see now looking on the other side how His faithful hand led you the whole time? Tell your kids that story.
Make use of analogy. When they are in the bathtub or brushing their teeth it is a great illustration of how Christ cleanses us from our sin. Naptime and bedtime provide an analogy to how Jesus tells us to rest in Him for our salvation. Meal preparation and cleaning the house can provide a good connection to the order and design of the things we see around us in nature, someone had to do that.
Encourage imitation. As children interact with their siblings, entertain guests with their parents, play with other children, this is a good time for them to imitate the character of Christ through what they do, say, and think. Help them to understand how Christ provides them an example of kindness, preferring others, selflessness, and sacrifice.
Pursue wisdom/knowledge/understanding. Encourage your family to read books. Help them to see the expanse of information, knowledge, and wisdom to be gained through great books. Include fiction, non-fiction, sports, children’s, and books to be read as a family. Enjoy the process of learning together. Bring them to the proverbs that help us to see the wisdom in gaining knowledge in order to honor our Lord with it. Shepherd their hearts in this process promoting humble attitudes eager to share and celebrate learning and growth, rather than boasting and condescending through comparison with others perceived less intelligent.
Observe instances of Grace. This would begin by sharing your story of redemption with your kids. Help your family to see God’s grace toward unbelievers through the good gifts they enjoy. Observe how patient God is toward us in our sin. Notice together the pleasantness of good food, nice weather, a cool breeze, a good game, laughter, etc… Connect these good gifts to God’s gracious character.
Include God in the conversation. Often we talk about God during the formal times of prayer before dinner or during family worship but forget about Him during the rest of our day. When you are contemplating a problem or thinking through a decision that needs to be made simply acknowledge the presents of God there by speaking to Him. Prayer does not require a formal time or somber tone of voice. We may entreat God at all times, in all situations, and in all places. Speak to God like you believe in His omnipresence.
Be theologically and doxologically consistent. When you have family worship praise God for his sovereignty in all things, teach your family how God controls every aspect of His creation and nothing happens, not even a toe touch of an insignificant bird without God’s foreknowledge. However, after that, don’t complain about the rain.
Put the Gospel central. Discipline using the truth of the gospel that sin can be forgiven past present and future through belief and repentance. Apply the gospel to your delicious steak and God’s requirement of OT sacrifice and Christ as the once for all sacrifice on our behalf. Recall the hope of future glory and resurrected bodies at the scraping of a knee and stubbing of a toe. Remind your family of the holiness of God and how we are counted as holy as Christ after a discipline issue is through.
Make pleasing Christ the supreme motivation for life. Be examples of this in your marriage. Husbands connect the love you have for your wife to the love Christ had for the church and the demonstration of it through the cross. Wives model the submission of the church to Christ through your submission to your Husband. Encourage your children’s obedience through tying it to their honor of Christ. Teach your kids to make their beds because Jesus sees it and is pleased with it. Remind them of His love for them displayed through the cross and call them to live worshipful lives in light of it.
Praise God for a new development of understanding and conviction on formal family worship. May we also engage daily in informal family worship by redeeming the everyday situations to bring honor and glory to our Savior.