I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11)
If you were asked to write down five best and effective parenting practices, what would be on your list?
Perhaps you’d include:
- Boosting children’s self-esteem
- Spending quality time with children
- Consistency with family rules and limits
- Supporting their health and safety
- Being a good role model
I think we can all agree that these are some really good ‘best practices’ for parents and that there are more we could add to the list. Can we also agree that it’s not always easy (amen?) and we’re bound to make some mistakes in our parenting? Only Jesus achieved perfection, so God does not expect parents to be perfect. However, he does encourage us to look to Christ and seek his guidance (Hebrews 12:2)
With that in mind, what would you say is missing from the list above? Parenting is one of God’s most important callings. Children are a gift and blessing from God (Psalm 127:3-5) and nurturing their faith is essential to raising faith-filled children (who will then teach their own children and so on…). Therefore, at the top of our list we must add ‘nurturing our kids’ spiritual health’.
We need to show them how to hide God’s word in their hearts.
Words from our Creator God have the power to transform, renew, guide, comfort, and strengthen. When we meditate over scripture (and teach our children to do so) God’s wisdom is absorbed into our hearts and minds. Even Jesus quoted scripture to fight Satan’s temptation in the desert (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
The Holy Spirit will bring those treasures of God’s word from your child’s heart to his mind at the precise moment of his need. God’s word is a lamp for our feet, guiding us in the way we should go.
And there will be many times in your child’s life when they will need God’s word to light their path. Daily, in fact.
Making God’s word part of the rhythm of your daily family life will create healthy habits that nourish your (and your children’s) spiritual growth. Parents want the best for their children and certainly helping them hide scripture in their hearts, as Psalm 119:11 says, is a parenting best practice.
Psalm 119:11 in the Easy-to-Read Version reads, “I study your teaching very carefully…” (emphasis mine). The way we can help our children hide God’s word in their hearts is by studying it, by memorizing verses, and meditating on it, filling their minds with the living, active Word of God. This all comes from consistent reading of the Bible.
The Holy Spirit will bring those treasures of God’s word hidden in their heart to mind at the precise moment of his/her need, lighting their path.
Want to help your kids establish bible reading habits?
Family Ministry Director
Community Congregational Church