How To: Saturate Your {Child's} Day with the Word of God

"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children..." *
Children feel that desperate need for Jesus, too! Last week, as I was writing How to Saturate your day with the Word of God, I had a lot of ideas for children as well - - enough for an entire post of their own!

Music is one of the very best ways to reach a person's heart. A few years ago a friend told me about her eight year old son’s worship time. She said that he had a CD player in his bedroom and he would put in his worship music and play Sunday School. She knew that she should not disturb him at these times – it was his time with the Lord.

After she told me about this, my husband and I bought CD players for each of our children’s bedrooms and stocked them with worship music. Many times since then I have passed their rooms and heard the strains of music and children singing at the top of their lungs.

My mom often reminds me about her friend who intentionally plays inspirational music as her children get ready for school because she wants those words stuck in their heads all day.

Find music that is catchy and has sound doctrine, then stock their rooms with these either in CD form, or load their MP3s and Ipods with them. Get rid of bedroom TVs or that will defeat the purpose. It is hard to monitor what they are watching, and you want them to fill their minds with good things.

Here are some of my favorites:

Steve Green has a fantastic CD set called  Hide 'Em in Your Heart that is purely scripture set to beautiful music. It makes the top of my list.

Joni Erickson Tada has some books of Hymns with CDs for children, including one of Christmas Hymns, one of Easter hymns, but she has others that are non-holiday hymns. They are beautiful and include children's voices.


If your children prefer something more upbeat, but still worshipful, try these. (Most of them come in an MP3 download.)

There is even plenty to choose from for very young children, too. We have loved using the Praise Baby collection with our children. They come in both CDs and DVDs. (TV viewing is not recommended for children under age 2.)

There is also a wide assortment of Christian music for teens. We are just entering that stage, so I have not researched it well enough to recommend any favorites, yet. One group that we are currently liking is Casting Crowns.


Another thing that we use are the Adventures in Odyssey Bible Eyewitness series. They hold the attention of children (even teens) very well and give them a factually accurate Bible story that they are not likely to forget! Some of the Adventures in Odyssey are also available for Ipod downloads.

"...Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up..." *
This can be one of the easiest ways to "fit it in" to our children's lives - - in normal conversations with our children on any subject! My mother did this with us, so it has come very naturally to me, but this is a skill that can be developed. Doing this works so well  because "the Word of God is living and powerful... and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) so that makes it relevant to our every day lives!

TALK about it! The Word of God has something to say on EVERY topic! If you don't know a passage right off the top of your head, take a minute to find it. Say to your child, "Let's see what the Word of God has to say about this." In this age of technology, you should be able to run a search on a good site like Blue Letter Bible or any number of similar sites. Most Bibles have topical indexes in them, as well.
And don't forget to use car time for talking. Turn off the radio and listen to your kids. Sometimes they will feel more free to talk when there is no eye contact.

Bed time is one of the best times for conversations. It seems odd, but when they are tucked into their beds, kids will often open up  and share details of the day that may have been left out in an earlier conversation.


Many people also choose this time to read to their children, so what better way to add in scripture than by sneaking a good Bible story book into the pile. They will go to sleep with those words still ringing in their ears.

My little girls and I also love the Grandma's Attic series. Every chapter is a different story with an excellent moral or spiritual lesson.

Your kids might be too old for Bible story books, but you can still read devotionals for older kids with them, like  "Wildcats in the House" (spun off of the High School Musical movies).

I have also read the Chronicles of Narnia series to my older children. It is a biblical allegory so I took all of the opportunities that I could find to correlate the allegory with the scripture that it represents. (There are resources to help with this in the link.)
As you become adept at spotting these teachable moments, you will find it fairly easy to do this with other non-Bible books, too, like “City of Ember.”
Just look for opportunities and pray for wisdom to notice teachable moments when they come.

There are lots of books for teens to help them in their walk with Christ, or provide them with wholesome entertainment.

Of course nothing beats the scriptures, themselves! I usually just read to them straight from the Bible.
Sometimes it can seem really hard to find the right time to do "formal" teaching, but recently I was encouraged in this by one of my favorite authors who wrote about how words of scripture are the dessert at every meal in the home of her husband's family - and now in hers, too. (If you only click on one link in this article, make it THIS one!) I have always made some kind of effort to read scripture to my kids, but have always found it difficult to fit it in. I found myself reading several chapters at a time, testing the patience of my children. After reading Ann's story, I realized that a few verses each day was a better choice, and have discovered that if I get the kids up a few minutes early, we can sit together and read the scripture at breakfast.

"...Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates..." *
A few years ago I researched Biblical costumes for a Passion Play that my husband wrote and directed in our church, and I was fascinated to learn that the Pharisees took this verse so literally, that they actually tied little pouches to their foreheads and kept verses in them! I am not suggesting that we write verses on our children's foreheads with magic marker, but keeping scripture before their eyes is really important. Implanting it inside their heads is even more important.

Buy pictures like this one for your child's bedroom. Or for less money, use scripture verse posters. I noticed all of the hand written verse notecards that Bethany Hamilton had on her bedroom walls in Heart of a Soul Surfer. I hope that it will be in the heart of my children to do the same thing!

Paint it on their bedroom walls.

Write it in lipstick on their bathroom mirror.

Write it on sticky notes on the bathroom mirror.

Make a Chalk Wall and write a new verse on it each week. Work on memorizing the verse.

These are some things that my mom tried to do, (or what has worked for others) and I am now making the effort with my kids.

Sure. Sometimes they may chafe at it - like when you are teaching them moral lessons while they are watching a movie (I refuse to let Satan push his subtle agenda and pass up the opportunity to counter it with truth) but I have found that these chafing moments are few and far between.

Don't assume that they won't like it! Kids need Jesus, too. If you sneak it in, make it fun, and don't expect them to sit with their hands folded in their laps, but allow them the freedom to ask questions, and even to laugh, they will learn that it is wonderful to have a relationship with the True and Living God!

 Drive it home often – even if they do roll their eyes now, they will be thankful later. (I am! Thanks Mom!)

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

 *Verses from Deuteronomy 6


AsSnugAsABug said...

I think what you have said about the music is very true. Big time Narnia fan here as well!

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