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How do I do it?

Use, as our model, Deuteronomy 6. The whole chapter is worth reading but three things together can make spiritual training happen in your home:

1. Build Relationship
2. Share Scripture

3. Practice Faith

1. Build Relationship

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 suggests four opportunities of times to pass on God’s values through relationship. They are when you sit at home, go on trips, in your morning routine and in your bedtime routine. Those are often good times when relationship opportunities exist.

In addition, you might do some other things like playing games, working together, mealtimes, or family entertainment. The goal is to connect relationally with your child. Some children are easier to connect with than others so you’ll want to plan activities, events, or times that you know will work for your family.

Building relationship opens the heart and is the vehicle through which values are passed. Sometimes those opportunities happen spontaneously so you’ll want to be ready for significant conversations with your child outside of planned activity.

2. Share Scripture

When talking about God’s commandments, Deuteronomy 6:6-9 uses the words, “Impress them on your children,” and "Talk about them." In order to pass your faith to your kids you’ll want to share scripture with your kids. You want your children to learn that the Bible is relevant for them now, not just when they get to be adults.

Whenever you read a Bible story to your child, ask the question, “What's the lesson learned?” This helps children recognize that the stories from the Bible are different than the other stories they may read in life. When we look at God’s Word, we are examining a book that is living and active and touches our hearts.

You may want to read the Bible to your kids, or you may want to read it yourself and then retell a Bible story to your kids. You may choose to teach a theological truth or memorize a Bible verse together. You can also sing a worship song or act out a Bible story.

Look for creative ways to communicate the Bible message and break down the applications to your child’s developmental level.

3. Practice Faith

Modeling is the best form of teaching. When children see their parents praying, applying God’s Word, living righteously, and serving God, they see that faith is relevant.

You want your children to know that a relationship with God is personal and daily. Continual interaction with God, with comments to your kids, reveals to children your commitment to Christ. A word of praise for a beautiful sunset, a quick prayer for a challenging appointment, or simply expressing thanks for your family, all help kids to understand in practical terms what a personal relationship with Christ looks like.

God has no grandchildren, so, introducing children to Christ and watching God speak through your kids to you is important as well. Kids can use their spiritual gifts now. They can hear from God now. And they can be used to serve the Lord now.

As you partner with your family to grow in God’s grace, not only will your kids catch the excitement of the Christian life, but your family will grow closer together.

So, will you commit to putting those three things together at least once a week?

Spiritual leadership takes some work and planning, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In order to be successful, you’ll want to plan to get your family together. That, in itself, can be a hurdle for busy families. It doesn’t have to take long. Just a half hour a week in planned spiritual training can produce many spontaneous conversations throughout the week.

Taking the Family Challenge means that you commit to building relationship, sharing scripture, and practicing faith in order to pass your faith to your kids. Keep in mind that the language of children is activity. When you use activity to teach Bible lessons, you’re doing something powerful by reaching deep into your child’s heart. When Jesus taught his disciples, he used parables, a combination of kingdom principles and real life examples. The truths then were able to reach the intended goal, to touch the hearts of the hearers.

When you use activity to teach Bible lessons, kids remember them. You might act out a Bible story or illustrate a lesson with science, art, or cooking. You might actually practice what the lesson is teaching together as a family through acts of service, confession, or prayer.

By building relationship, sharing scripture, and practicing faith all at the same time, kids get a glimpse of how important your relationship with God is. They'll learn in practical ways what it means to pursue God in their own lives as well.

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