Raising Children Who Love the Lord
Our children’s salvation is not of our doing and is entirely up to the will of the Lord, but as parent’s we have the honor and privilege to faithfully equip our children with tools of the Bible to help guide their thoughts and give them a sturdy foundation based on the gospel.
“It is said that a child’s world view is built by the time they turn 11, and so it is easier to teach than to correct.” Desiree Myers
Ray and Desiree Myers volunteer in Rkids Discipleship Co-op, they also make it a priority to teach scripture to their four children; Karis, Sophia, Amare and Elias at home throughout the week to raise children who love the Lord.
A typical moment teaching scripture in the Myers home starts in the morning where everyone gathers for breakfast. They begin by praying for a variety of things; family, friends, community, current events, and everyone is given a chance at saying their own prayer. This is followed by singing praises and rejoicing by lifting up their voices in hymn and one old-school kid’s song; for example, we all know how the song “Father Abraham” goes:
“Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them
And so are you
So let's just praise the Lord…left arm, right arm…”
You get the point.
Next is time to open the Word of God. Desiree focuses on one Bible story all week long, but will read out of different story book bibles each day so that their children will gain different perspectives of the stories, and on the last day they read out of an ESV regular translation. Scripture memory work is also integrated into their morning time.
Life and work schedules make the majority of the teaching done in the mornings with Desiree, but Ray also finds time with the kids after his work days to talk about the gospel and stories that have impacted him throughout the day.
“I am done by the end of the day, so we kiss them and bless them together and, Ray will ask questions about their studies from the morning or read whatever is on his heart or where [in bible] he has been reading.”
Investing time to read the bible and pray with their children, has blessed the Myers with sweet moments and conversations that they will cherish through their life and in eternity as well. During a conversation that stemmed from the family’s prayer time allowed Desiree and Ray to be present and guide their two oldest, Karis and Sophia when they first made their proclamations of faith! Witnessing the children’s different responses to the Gospel has also been some of the Myers’ greatest joys in discipling their children.
“Our first born is very pragmatic and recognized her need for Jesus to save her from her sins because she was not perfect regardless of all her efforts. Our second born is very relational and made her first proclamation of faith because she wants to spend eternity with God.”
Ray and Desiree feel that the gospel comes to life in their home when their children apologize and repent to one another. It is not too often that parents practice repentance to their children, but having that modeled in a home allows children to see Jesus working through mom and dad and the grace that the Lord extends to all of us. We can raise children who love the Lord by living out God’s commands in our day-to-day lives.
“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deut. 6:7
Teaching scripture to our children is a big responsibility but one that God commands us to do. The Myers recognize the impact of the verse Matthew 6:19-21, which tells us that by being faithful we are building treasures in heaven. Ray and Desiree discuss why they take on this responsibility with their children and that the children are commanded to respect and honor their parents. Each family member has a role in honoring God in the family and each one will be held accountable to the Lord
Another way to live out God’s word is through serving as a family. The Myers starting serving in RKids Discipleship Co-Op because they wanted to model service to their own children, and it was also a practical way for Ray and Desiree to serve together. After a short time, the Myers started to see the impact that Ray’s presence had on the children in R-Kids.
“It is almost expected for a mother to take part in children’s ministry, but a man’s presence is very vital for children…our kids need to learn what a father’s presence can offer, the peace, the protection and the affection, as these men are the reflection of the Father for us. Imagine what our society’s view of our Heavenly Father will be if we do not have it properly modeled.”
Raising our children to love the Lord does not need to be a daunting task. Ray and Desiree noted that 5 minutes a day with your kids reading something simple adds up to 30 hours per year. 30 HOURS! That is a huge investment done in tiny batches! They suggest to NOT stress about how well it is done or if your children are paying attention. Just seeing that is important to you will give them a perspective of the importance of the gospel.
Recommended resources from a self-proclaimed bible hoarder (Desiree Myers) to help you with your study:
Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
ESV Seek and Find
Training Hearts and Teaching Minds by Starr Meade
Essential Truths of the Christian Faith by RC Sproul