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Sweet Shore

Teach your children about God.

From their earliest memories, they should be able to remember expressions of your faith.  I used to sing “Jesus Loves Me” to my babies when they were tiny. 

My granddaughters all love the song “In the Sweet By-and-By, because I’ve sung it to each of them from the time they were just brought home.  I also sang it at the Memorial Celebration we had for our granddaughter, Faith, who is at home with Jesus.  They’ve all fallen asleep to the words of that song. 

Tell them about God’s love. 

Read them simple Bible stories. 

Help them to incorporate Him into their every day thoughts by sharing simple truths appropriate to their age levels.

It’s not enough to just TELL them about God, you have to live out your faith where your children can see it.  Every day, let them see you trusting God, being grateful to Him for what you have, having an attitude of faith and not a spirit of complaining.  Show them how to live contentedly and teach them to share with those whose lives may not be as easy. 

Even when everything is not going the best, show them your faith.  It’s also okay to let them see that when you’re discouraged or not feeling well, your relationship with your Heavenly Father remains strong–including times when you don’t understand what is going on or why.  As you live out your faith on a daily basis, you serve as a flesh-and-blood model for them of how to live in God’s presence.

This is especially important for fathers.  Studies have shown that most children, regardless of whether they’ve been taken to Sunday School every week or not, will adopt the religious beliefs of their father when they’re grown.

Teach them to pray as soon as they can formulate even the simplest words.  My two sons, who were about 5 & 8, would always pray for a whole list of requests, beginning each sentence with “Help”:  “Help us to find a bigger house; Help Poppa and Elaine to become Christians; Thank you for this food–help it to make us strong & healthy…”  So, when their little sister was about 2, one night she asked if she could say a prayer before our evening meal.  Her prayer was probably the best demonstration of prayer I’ve ever heard:

Dear Jesus.  Help–help–help–help. Amen

I’m quite certain it made God smile.

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