Archive | Helping Your Child See God

The One Habit All Christian Kids Must Be Taught

The One Habit All Christian Kids Must Be Taught - Parenting Like HannahThe university I attended for my undergraduate degree was actually a part of Colonial Williamsburg. We were seeped in history and most of us loved it, no matter our major. Our library was full of rare documents from people like Thomas Jefferson and other historical figures. As a result, one of the principles we were taught was the idea of researching primary source documents.

A primary source document is considered to be the closest source you can find to an actual event or person. So for example, when I wanted to do a paper on the man who built many of the historical homes on the Appomattox River, I didn’t read a book about him. Instead, I went to the historical society library in Richmond and had them pull everything he had ever personally written – from letters to diaries to inventories and wills. Those documents painted a more accurate picture of the man than one painted by someone else who had their personal interpretation of his life added to the mix.

So what does this have to do with Christian parenting? For Christians, our primary source document is the Bible. (I’m not ignoring the translation aspect, but that’s a more advanced level of this topic.) All other writings on the topic are considered at best a secondary source. Any book on Christianity. Any theology treatise. Any commentary. Any document written by someone and not included in the Bible is a secondary source.

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Fun Ways to Use Zoos to Teach Your Kids About the Bible

Using Zoos to Teach Your Kids About the Bible - Parenting Like HannahOne of the most important gifts you can give your children is the ability to see God is alive and working in our world today. Some parents struggle with how best to show God to their kids. They get wrapped up in the difficulties of explaining God when He isn’t visible in the room. Sometimes their children will grow up to reject God because no one ever taught them where to look for Him.

The funny thing is the Bible tells us exactly where to show our kids God, so they will believe – in His creation. “Ever since the world was created it has been possible to see the qualities of God that are not seen. I’m talking about his eternal power and about the fact that he is God. Those things can be seen in what he has made. So people have no excuse for what they do.” (Romans 1:20 NIrV) 

What’s more, God’s creation can also help your kids learn and understand more Bible stories and a host of other Bible skills. And what better place to see a great variety of God’s creation than a zoo? There are probably a lot of things you can teach your kids about God at the zoo, but here are some of my favorite things to do:

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Thanksgiving Gratitude Fun to Reconnect Families

Fun Gratitude Activity to Help Families Reconnect - Parenting Like HannahLet’s be honest. Thanksgiving prayers and sharing can become a bit routine over the years. Sometimes, it may seem the thanks to God are standing in the way of all of that good food you are about to enjoy. You may also have people at your table whom you haven’t seen in months or not know well at all. Why not switch things up a bit and make the mealtime conversation a prayer of sorts to God and have fun reconnecting in the process?

You can start with the normal prayer for the meal. Instead of ending the prayer, have the person leading it pray that the entire mealtime conversation is a continuation of this prayer as you thank Him for the many gifts you may have even forgotten to thank Him for during the year.

Then ask diners to share their thankful answers to the following questions (or add your own):

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Telling Personal Faith Stories to Your Kids

Sharing Personal Faith Stories With Your Children - Parenting Like HannahWhen I meet someone who left the church during their teens and early twenties, I often ask what their parents could have done that might have kept them from leaving. Surprisingly, almost everyone mentions they wish they had seen that their parents’ faith made a difference in their lives in some way. The sad thing is those parents would probably be able to share multiple ways God touched their lives over the years. Yet, they never shared this with their kids. As a result, their children thought serving God was a waste of time.

The good news is everyone loves a good story – even your teens. You probably already tell stories from your family or about things that happened when you were the same age as your children. Whether you realize it or not, often those stories are great teaching tools. Jesus knew stories were effective ways to get across a point. That’s what the parables Jesus told did for the people. It helped them lower their defenses and hear important wisdom in ways they could easily understand and remember.

Giving your kids the gift of your personal faith stories is so very important. Those stories help them see God and understand how He continues to work in the lives of His people. You don’t have to have stories as awe inspiring as Moses to reach your kids. Often, our every day faith stories are just as inspiring and helpful in their own ways.

So what types of personal faith stories can you tell your children? There are probably many, but begin by thinking about times these things happened in your life:

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Raising Kids to Be Who God Meant Them To Be

Raising Kids To Be Who God Created Them To Be - Parenting Like HannahOne of my favorite things about New York City is the niche stores you can find everywhere. Want anything, and there is probably a store somewhere in the city that sells every variation of that item ever created. Last week, I found this great store in Chelsea Market that had bins of all types of different spices and teas.

The store took great pains to carefully label each bin with the name of the spice or tea it contained. Some spices look very similar to each other. If you have ever mistakenly substituted cumin for cinnamon in a recipe though, you understand how important it is to know exactly which spice you are buying.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)