Parenting is tough, especially when it comes to knowing how to reach out to them about Christ. For this week’s Kid Talk Tuesday post, we have author Carolyn Larsen sharing some great advice on how to reach out to young girls!
Let me be honest – we raised three children. They are all adults now and all doing well. However . . . I do not have all the answers for good parenting. It was trial and error for us; some days more error than trial. My husband and I raised two daughters (and one son). Both of our girls came to faith in Jesus at a young age. One invited Christ into her heart sitting in our family room, very early one morning. The other daughter accepted Christ at Sunday school. The church and its ministries played an important role in our family life and I value the church very much. However, it seems that the role of the church in families has changed in recent years. It’s still important but perhaps in a different way than it was for my generation. So, now how do you reach your daughters for Christ?
Well, of course there is still — take them to church, Sunday school, a club program, and (please) get them all the Christian books in the world and whatever else you want. Those are all good things and your daughters may meet Christ through any of those. But more than likely . . . none of them are enough by themselves.
The best place for your daughter to learn about God’s love and to understand how it changes lives is . . . at home. It’s you. Tell her about God’s love, read Scripture with her and pray with her. But more importantly, live your faith in front of her. If you teach and preach but do not walk the talk, you could very well be wasting your time with all the other stuff. When your daughter sees how the Holy Spirit living in you affects your behavior, words and life, then she is seeing living, real Christianity. What does that look like?
Let her see you honestly reply to an invitation from someone you don’t enjoy instead of making up a response. Let her see you return to the cashier when you’ve been given too much change. Let her see honesty in action . . . laced with kindness.
Show her what fairness to all looks like — regardless of how much you like or agree with others. Regardless of how tired you are.
Share your money, yes. But more importantly, share your time and energy.
With your daughter. Remember she is a child and learning to be mature is a work in progress.
Show her that having Christ in your heart makes a difference in how you behave. Let her see you studying God’s Word and let her know that you have a regular prayer life – not because you have to but because you want to stay close to your God.
Is this putting a load of pressure on you? It’s not intended to. It’s intended to relieve pressure from your daughter. What I am suggesting is that you let your daughter see that living for Christ is a journey and some days are better than others. Allow her permission to have down days as she sees yours and to learn from them. Let her see that failures happen but asking forgiveness from those wronged and from God; gives an opportunity for a fresh start.
So, yeah you may lose your patience and maybe yell a little or slam something down on the table a bit harder than necessary. Well guess what? You’re human. Be vulnerable enough and honest enough to say, “Look, I blew it today. If you judged me by today’s behavior, you probably wouldn’t think that I have Jesus in my heart. So, I want you to know that I’m sorry.”
Of course all this real living is bathed in prayer for your precious daughter to meet Jesus in a real, honest, life-changing way. When that happens the bond between the two of you will be even more precious. What a responsibility it is to be a mother, caregiver, or grandmother to these little ones who are so precious in His sight.
Carolyn Larsen, author of For Girls Only, More For Girls Only and Princess Bible Stories.
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