• Johan Smith

Spiritual times with your children

Years ago I had the privilege to hand pick a group of teenagers to go on an evangelistic-outreach. It was amazing to meet hundreds of which I could only choose ten: ten who knew Jesus and followed him unconditionally. I knew most of their parents well. I formed an intimate relationship with each of them.

I was shocked when one of the boys, whose parents are amazing people, came to me with tears in his eyes and told me his relationship with his father, a wonderful man, was not good. After some time and plenty of questions I realised what the problem was: he had the need to spend time of spiritual nature with his father, but it never happened. 

Through this story parents must learn that a child’s deepest desire is to talk about God in their home. You must read the Bible with your children and pray with them. The boy eventually shared his desire with his father and their already beautiful relationship grew into something much deeper.

Such a spiritual routine does not have to be overly organised. Be sensitive when examinations or other important events are near and go to your child and pray with them. Know when your child hurts. Encourage them and help them with the Word and prayer. There is nothing that binds a family closer than spending time together with God. Have communion together once a month, or pray for missionaries together. Go on family outreaches. Give your children a chance to take leadership. Use occasions like Christmas and Easter to create special spiritual moments for the family. There are so many ways, besides Bible study, to fulfil this need.  

Deut 6: 6-7 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

This is exactly how discipleship within a family should work: parents demonstrating what it means to know and serve Jesus through their actions. Children see the joy, peace and true happiness and it rubs off on them. This is also where true discipleship starts: at home. Your children are always your first disciples. 

The well-known Henry Cloud writes:

New things that actually have hope for the future cannot appear until you get rid of what was taking up the space that the new things need.

Get rid of unnecessary pollution in your life and make space for the positive.


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