GFK046: Teach your kids to have a meaningful Quiet Time with the LORD
Listen to HOW TO TEACH YOUR KIDS TO HAVE A MEANINGFUL QUIET TIME WITH THE LORD here
HOSTS: Carey & Mindi Green
1:22 The Importance of Personal Quiet Time
8:50 The Impact of Teaching Children to Have a Quiet Time
12:00 The Battle to Maintain a Quiet Time
13:54 The Lifesource of God’s Word for Parents and Children
Transcript follows (not corrected)
The Importance of Personal Quiet Time
[1:22] Well, parents, we want to ask you today a very simple question. How are you doing with your daily quiet time, your daily devotional time, your time of Bible reading and prayer and spending time with the Lord? How are you personally doing in that category? And then we want to ask you.
[1:40] How are your kids doing in that area? And I hope you can see the connection between those two.
Because if you’re not doing well in your quiet time, if you’re not consistently having it.
[1:52] Chances are your kids are neither. And the younger your kids, the more likely it’s not happening because you need to be teaching them out of your own experience, the overflow of what you’re experiencing. And have you thought about that, parents, that it’s you really who needs to teach your child how to have a quiet time? Have you hoped and prayed that your kids would spend time in the Bible as they get older without showing them how to do it? Yeah, and without being the example of it. I mean, our kids usually want to do the things that they see as valuable, they see as important. And I mean, I think of the many families we’ve known where the dad is just all into football and most of his sons are all into football because dad’s into football and there’s this excitement dad has about the sport. And so the kids generate this excitement about the sport. It doesn’t always happen that way, but many times it does. Well, same thing. If If your kids don’t see that your quiet time is important to you, why are they gonna think it’s an important thing if mom and dad aren’t proving it’s an important thing, through their own actions?
Right. But along with that, it’s not enough just to say to your kids, I hope you read your Bible every day or make sure you read your Bible every day.
[3:08] You need to be able to train them in how to do it. That’s right.
And keep them accountable in doing it, especially in their younger years.
Right, because just think about your own life. How easy was it for you to figure out what to do in your quiet time? I mean, sometimes we just have this vague idea, well, I should read my Bible, and I should pray, but…
[3:27] That’s really broad. And how do you really know what to do with that big book that’s sitting in your lap?
You could open it to Leviticus and just totally get lost if you don’t know what you’re doing.
So the point of this episode is we want to talk to you about how to begin leading your.
[3:43] Children in the practical steps of having a meaningful time of connection with the Lord through a quiet time.
I remember some of the younger years wanting them to see me read my Bible so that they could know what was going on.
And I would tell them, like, maybe whatever, age four years old, I’m reading a book about Jesus. And, you know, we’d already talked to them about Jesus.
And Jesus is telling me that he loves me in this book. And mommy wants you to learn about Jesus.
Let’s get your Bible.
And it, of course, is their little picture Bible book. And Jesus wants us to learn about Him, so let’s read our Bibles.
And so I would have them sit next to me with their picture Bible book, and I always would change the wording of those kids’ Bibles because I wanted it to be personal.
And I think that’s a good thing to make the Bible personal to your children from the earliest age on up.
That’s a good place to start. So for example, making it personal, if it was John 3, 16, and said, God so loved the world, you would have Melinda in your lap and you would say, God loves Melinda so much.
He gave his only son.
I mean, that’s an example of how you’d make it personal. Right, exactly.
And I guess I’m thinking even more so like before that in their picture Bible book when it’s Daniel and the lion’s den or David and Goliath or something like that.
[5:11] And I would make it be that Jesus loves you so much that he would protect you just like he protected Daniel, or things like that. Or if you’re afraid of something, God would help you to fight your giant, or whatever it would apply in their little mind.
So they would start thinking of God as being close and personal. Yeah.
And so I love how you took what you were already doing and you brought it down to their level and explained to them in their terms what it is you were doing and why you were doing, it. And you essentially were saying, Jesus wrote this book and he’s telling me how much he loves me.
[5:45] And he really loves you too. I mean, you would just take it right into that so that they, would develop this intrigue about this book you’re reading.
What is it? And Jesus really wrote this? That sort of thing.
Yeah. And to be able to say things like, this is the most important book to mommy.
And I want to read it every day because I want to know what Jesus thinks. Because Jesus tells me how to love you as my little girl or little boy. And Jesus tells me how to love daddy. And I try to but it’d make it really clear and practical.
And then as they got older, I thought it was wonderful how you were able to help them, because you being so much a student of God’s word, loving to study God’s word as a teacher, you were able to teach them some deeper practical ways of how to go through Bible study time.
And I loved how you would do that with them.
[6:40] Yeah, I remember sitting with the kids And I’m thinking age eight, age nine, when they could read and they could comprehend most things that they read.
Now, of course, you need to have a Bible version that they can comprehend.
King James is not recommended for an eight-year-old. You want something that they can understand, the words, generally speaking, and sit with them and read it with them and ask them questions and teach them the kinds of questions to ask.
You want a teacher kids to always ask questions about what they read.
So, who’s the most important person in this?
Well, most of the time it’s gonna be God. That’s gonna be the answer in one way or another.
Are there things here that God wants me to do?
Are there things here God’s telling me not to do?
[7:24] Are there things here that express how God feels about me?
Are there things that express how God feels about sin? Are there things, you know, just all those kinds of questions that you want to teach your kids to ask as they’re reading?
Because as they notice those things and observe those things, they’re going to start seeing God’s heart and what matters to God, which is really what matters.
Right, right. And we would help them to know. So the things that you’re learning from the Bible verses that you just read, therefore, now pray about those things. It was many years ago, but We even wrote it out, you know, at the beginning, ask Jesus to show you what He wants you to learn.
[8:04] Read these couple verses, and then pray and thank God for what He told you, for how He loves you, you know, whatever. We made it simple for them. And when they were young, we said, we want you to spend five minutes, you know, looking at your book and saying, thank you, Jesus, for loving me, you know. And then as they got older, We encourage them to go through these steps, maybe study these different books and maybe do a chapter a day, or we had it fit their age.
But the point we’re trying to get across to you parents is it matters that you teach them and train them well how to have a quiet time or devotional, whatever you want to call it, because that is their life.
The Impact of Teaching Children to Have a Quiet Time
[8:50] Is the gas that fills their tank, and to be able to help them get into the habit of doing that, while they’re still in your home is the most important thing you can teach them.
Yeah, and let me express something from the heart of a pastor about this.
[9:07] Much of what pastors spend their time doing is figuring out ways to encourage people to read their Bibles and to develop a time of devotion and commitment between themselves and the Lord that they can do on their own. And I’m talking about adults here.
[9:27] That’s what pastors are trying to do. And this should be happening in Christian homes, with the kids. They should be learning this as young adults. And the reason it’s so important is not so your pastor has an easier job when he’s, you know, leading your kids as adults, but so that those kids, when they’re adults and even as teenagers, can rightly discern what’s going on around them. They cannot be led astray by false teaching or cultural norms or things that are going on because they’re rooted in the truth as God sees it, which is revealed in the Bible. Mindy and I were just aware through a video series we were watching of a particular doctrine that was twisted way back in the 1800s. And all through Christian history from that point on, people have basically just accepted the twisted version as the truth and haven’t examined it very carefully, all because it was just what was handed to them. And we need to be able, and it happens in childhood and moving forward, that we learn how to dig into the scriptures for ourselves, hear what God is saying, because we know how to interpret the scripture and apply it to life in a way that truly helps us understand not only the Bible and God’s Word, but God himself.
[10:42] Yeah, that is the most important thing for us to learn as believers, and to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us.
I mean, He guides us into all truth, so He’s the one who’s going to help us to know the.
[10:53] Meaning of God’s word.
And so what Carrie is saying, I really hope you take it to heart that that should be one of your highest goals for your children, is that they leave the home knowing how to study God’s Word, and being in the habit of having a quiet time, even if it was a chore that, they had to mark off the list, great, have it be a chore.
Yeah, which it was in our home. Right, it was. And I mean, we didn’t call it chores.
I don’t like that word, chores. We call them jobs or responsibilities.
But then just to tell you this, all of our kids, when they left the home, they didn’t move out of the home and like, oh, sure, I’m having it every day, no big deal.
They struggled, they fought to keep it.
And I remember with all of our kids when they first left, I’m really fighting to have my quiet time.
School’s busy, or my new wife, you know, I’m busy taking care of her, you know, so we, they had, you know, the enemy got in and tried to take away their attention, but they fought and we prayed for them.
Children naturally want to imitate and adopt what they believe is truly important to their parents. This is especially true when they are young. Look at any "football family" and you'll see what we mean. Why not take advantage (in a good way) of that God-given dynamic and teach your kids how to develop a love for God and time with Him? But parents, you're going to have to model it, to demonstrate it for them to see.
The Battle to Maintain a Quiet Time
[12:00] And they would ask, help me to have my quiet time. I know I need to, you know, things like that.
But it was ingrained in their soul, in their heart, of how important it is.
And like our oldest son, who’s 32 now, when he went through some hard times with his wife being sick.
[12:18] He was desperate to find his comfort in the Lord because he knew that’s where it came from.
And the Lord really grew him. So our children, they’re on the right path. They’ve developed the good habits, but life still got in there and they still fought the battle. So you want your children to have that experience so that when life happens, the enemy gets in there, they’re fighting the good fight instead of being totally wiped out by the enemy because they haven’t even developed that habit in the first place. Yeah, and we all know what it’s like to have the busyness of life crowd out the important things. We’ve all been there, and especially in that season from, teen into adulthood when you’re transitioning in so many areas. I mean, for the first time, maybe you’re learning to do your laundry. I mean, that’s a real basic thing, but.
[13:08] Compound that five, six, seven, ten times over all these new things they’re having to learn.
And they’re trained to maintain a quiet time. You see how easily it can just become this battle, which it was for our kids, just like anybody else.
Yeah. And just like for me, I remember when we were first married, I didn’t have a consistent quiet time, even though I grew up doing that. And I remember for you, you were fighting to have a consistent quiet time. And so the Lord was faithful to work in our lives, and we were fighting towards that goal. And so that’s the benefit of us training our children in the way they should go, because after they leave the home, when they get older, they’re not going to depart from that godly training.
The Lifesource of God’s Word for Parents and Children
[13:54] Yeah, and I think the drum that you need to beat, parents, not in an overbearing way, is that this time with the Lord, understanding and learning His Word, is your life. It is your life source. There’s an Old Testament passage. It’s where Moses is giving the word to the people of Israel before they go into the Promised Land and to the leadership of Joshua. And he says, take to your heart all the words with which I’m warning you today, that you may be careful to observe everything that is in this law, because it is not an idle word for you. It is your very life.
[14:31] And I remember memorizing that when I was driving around in a carpet cleaning truck, just had the Bible and tape playing and that particular verse jumped out at me and I memorized that and man, it’s just echoed in my mind ever since. God, himself says his word is our very life. And we need to say that to our kids over and over and over. And back to the original question we asked you, you need to demonstrate it to your kids over and over and over. So let us pray for all of of us to be able to get this habit going well in our lives and for the wisdom from the Lord to help our children.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your encouragement and commands to us through Your Word, and that You tell us what is best for us, and You command us to do what is best. I thank You, Father, for Your abounding grace to help us obey You and to please You. And I ask, Father, that You will help all parents who are listening to be faithful in our obedience to You and spending time reading Your word and praying and trusting You in our lives. I ask Lord, that those parents who are struggling with making their quiet times a regular thing, I pray Lord that You will just bring help through Your Holy Spirit, conviction through Your Holy Spirit to finally just make it happen to where it’s a consistent thing. And then I ask, Lord, for those parents who want to encourage their children to have their quiet times regularly, that You will give them wisdom and discernment of how to approach it with their kids, for it to be a positive situation where the kids are not feeling criticized or condemned, but they’re seeing it as how important it really is that they grow to learn. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.