The Story Traveler’s Bible: 5 Easy Ways We Teach Our Children About God

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Our number one priority is that we set our children off on the right track spiritually.

We aren’t training them to live to please just their parents, society, or a set of rules.  Once you’re an adult, those things all become mushy anyway.

We’d rather they have a relationship with God. It’s not about religion; it’s about knowing how to pray, knowing why they believe, having faith, and making these choices on their own. It’s about feeling responsible to a being higher than ourselves.

We want them to know that through any crisis in life, and the good times too, they can cry to Jesus, to our Heavenly Father. Alan and I will eventually die. Their brothers will too, so they need someone who will always be there. That’s what they can find in their relationship with God.

The Story Traveler's Bible 5 Ways we teach our children about God

Here are 5 super simple ways we foster their relationship with God:

 

#1. We teach them to pray.

From the time they are babies, we pray with each child individually before they go to bed at night. Sometimes it’s just Alan or me, but usually it’s both of us with each boy. When they are babies, I say all the words.

By the time they are talking, I let them say their own prayers, and I give them ideas for what to say by having them repeat after me. I change it up, not saying the same old thing every night.

For example:

“Thank you for this day. Thank you for my mommy, my daddy, my brothers, and (whoever else comes to mind). Thank you for my toys. Thank you for my house. Thank you for my food. Please help (insert sick relative) get better. Amen.”

By the time they are 3, they rarely repeat after me. They say whatever is on their mind, and sometimes it is adorable, and sometimes it is downright hilarious.

One of my boys used to say, “Thank you for

my mom and dad. Thank you for polar bears. Please help the polar bears. Thank you for badgers, raccoons, sun bears, grizzly bears, dolphins, beluga whales…” and he’d go on and on and on naming every animal he knew. So precious.

As they get older, we add in teaching them about praying for forgiveness when they’ve hurt their brother or disobeyed.

 

 

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Daniel, proudly displaying an award he earned at church.

#2. We take them to church.

It’s so much work when they are little to get them all cleaned up and dressed and to the church on time, but it’s so incredibly worth it. Hearing these Bible stories from another adult, hearing about how God loves them, and getting another Christian’s perspective on walking with the Lord is powerful. 

It backs up everything they are learning at home, encourages them in their faith, and exposes them to other leaders and kids like them. I have had so many mentors over the years that were my Sunday school teachers and other Christians who enhanced my understanding with their unique experiences.

 

5 Ways we teach our children about God

 

#3. Talking about what the Bible says

I should actually do this more. I tend to remember when I discipline the boys. I tell them, “Hey, Mom doesn’t like to punish you, but it’s my job. God tells me to. The Bible says an undisciplined son is a shame to his parents.” And well, we all know that’s true.

I try to remember to use Biblical examples when I’m coaching them on how to handle difficult people or situations or jobs.

#4. Modeling good habits

Feel free to laugh at me here because I guarantee you I’ve taught about as many bad habits as I have good…ahem…

But that’s okay. Kids need to know that people aren’t perfect, and we have to love and accept all sorts of people and be very forgiving.

We all know “more is caught than taught.” I want my children to see me reading my Bible, see me praying, see me helping the poor, and know that I am a kind, loving person who truly believes what I’m teaching.

For example….

I remember when I was home-schooling. Caleb and I were both going through a phase where we were having trouble with our out-of-control emotions. His was probably the result of my BAD modeling because I was going through a difficult time, but at least I was able to coach him on how to control his own emotions, by learning from my own mistakes.

I said, “Caleb, you may not ever be able to master your feelings on your own. When you feel that anger start to rage, and you want to give in to it, immediately stop and pray. Pray for God to help you keep it together.”

So one day, one of my boys came in, all upset and indignant, to tell on Caleb.

“Mom! Mom! I accidentally (did whatever), and Caleb got mad, and he HIT me, and then he just got down on his knees and started PRAYING!” said the flabbergasted and deeply offended brother.

I was so happy I could have soared with the birds.

“Oh, wow! That’s wonderful!” I joyfully answered.

“What! Wonderful?? What! He HIT me!!”

“Don’t you see? It would’ve been much worse for you if he hadn’t stopped and prayed. He stopped and prayed to keep from hitting you any more. Be thankful!”

 

#5. Using illustrated children’s Bibles to teach them God’s Word, like the Story Traveler’s Bible.

Reading the Bible to the boys goes over a whole lot better when we use a book with mesmerizing pictures, like this one. You should’ve heard the weeping and gnashing of teeth we used to hear when Alan would make our 7, 6, and 2 year olds listen to an entire chapter of the KJV Bible straight up.

Bible time should not be torture. We’ve come a long way since then.

Allow me to introduce you to a fabulous new children’s Bible that our family is currently enjoying reading:

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Includes 85 Bible stories

I love the details of the Bible stories that it includes.  Plus, it’s so helpful how she includes these memory verses in the margins!

5 Ways we teach our children about God 5 Ways we teach our children about God

The boys love the brightly colored illustrations by Tim Crecelius.

5 Ways we teach our children about God

In fact, for a week I could not find the book, and I thought I’d looked everywhere. It finally turned up in my nine-year-old’s room, in his little reading corner.

Now that’s good silent reading material!

5 Ways we teach our children about God

Look at these beautiful pages:

5 Ways we teach our children about God

In this book, 3 modern boys and girls travel through time and visit all of these old Bible stories and places.

5 Ways we teach our children about God

the Samson story

 

 

5 Ways we teach our children about God

 

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You can order the Story Traveler’s Bible here, for $9.94 from Amazon.

I hope you got some ideas or found some of this helpful. If you have any ideas to add or questions to ask, comment below.  Good luck on the giveaway!!

 

 

The Gray Jacket, The Road Trip, and The OCD Workshop

Check it out. We found photos of all four boys wearing this gray jacket. We own two of these jackets, both in a size 5/6, so that made it a little easier. I think it’s fun to see them all side-by-side wearing it. There are striking similarities. I think Joshua and John David look the most alike here.

In case you’re having trouble telling who is who, it’s JD, age 3, Daniel at age 5, Caleb at age 3, and Joshua at age 5. I’m a firm believer in buying clothes with wiggle room.

**************

We spent the weekend in Alabama for DaddyO’s birthday. (Photos of that to come soon.) All went well. It’s amazing how much more pleasant it is to take a road trip now that our age range is 11 to 3!!! The difference is astounding.

No one wore diapers. No one peed in their car seat. No one needed a sippy-cup or a bottle. Best of all, no one cried.

On the way home I had to stop to get gas. It was just Joshua, Daniel, JD, and me in the car. Alan and Caleb rode separately. I had promised the boys that I would buy them each one snack at the gas station, as a treat. My dad used to do that for us on road trips when I was a child, and I remember how special that always was to us.

But when we pulled into the gas station, John David was fast asleep.

Years ago, that would have been a problem, especially since Daniel had to pee, but JD was asleep. A couple of years ago, I would have built Daniel a barrier, and he would have watered some grass and gravel. The last thing I want to do on a car trip is wake up a toddler or a baby!

But this year was nothing like that. I have an eleven-year-old now! Joshua said, “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take Dan in, and I’ll buy us some snacks.”

Y’all!!! The joy!!!!!

Poor John David was a little confused when he woke up an hour later and went straight back to the gas station search.

“There’s one, Mom! There’s one, Mom!”

“Oh, sweetie, we already stopped and got gas, and now we’re almost home.”

“Oh!…hm”

Children that sleep on car trips are such a blessing.

**********

The OCD Workshop

Many people in our family are OCD. Not me. I probably annoy the OCD people to no end. One of them is our little Daniel. Daniel was going through a phase where he was clipping his fingernails every single night!

They were starting to look a little hurt, so we made him stop. The other day, he asked permission to clip his fingernails, and lo and behold. Look! He actually had nails to clip!

 

I was so proud of him! I mean, yes, I am also proud that he clips his own nails. Daniel is very grownish for a five-year-old. It’s funny because people look at him, and he’s a little short, so they often think he is four, and they wonder that I give him so much freedom. But you see, not all five-year-olds are equal, and this child…..I don’t suppose I know of too many things that big boys can do that he can’t handle.

One day a friend of Caleb’s was over here playing with Caleb and Daniel, and Caleb’s friend said, “I never let my kindergarten brother ever touch MY Legos!”

Daniel quietly pointed out, “Yes, but your brother is *Ziggy.* (name changed, of course.)”

Caleb and his friend all quietly agreed that yes, that was completely different from playing with Daniel.

But Daniel’s still human. Many mornings he is the very hardest one to wake up:

Out of bed and right back to sleep in the hallway floor

My husband’s theory is that we non-morning people types are simply not happy or excited to start our day, that we are perhaps a little depressed.

While that can be true, I can assure you, even if this is the day I’m going to Disney World itself, I don’t want to get out of bed.

Now I’d love to tie these three stories together with some sort of brilliant……um POINT, rather than be yet another story with no point at all, but folks, that’s about all I have today. I’m laying in my bed on a hot pad as we speak because I completely over-hauled, scrubbed,  de-cluttered, and re-organized Dan and JD’s room today. By 4pm, my right hip was SCREAMING at me, so here I am. We will be having pizza tonight.

Wall-E by Caleb

 

And now here’s little JD, rolling all over me, making typing quite impossible. How thankful I am for him! We wish you all a wonderful week!

“Life’s limitations are God’s invitation to change our expectations.”  –Kristen Strong in Girl Meets Change

 

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:31

 

 

 

Glacier Worms, Making Transitions, and Sleep, Sleep, Sleep

John David handles change about as well as I do.

John David handles change about as well as I do.

I’ve been talking a lot about my hermit problem, and I want you all to know that things are getting so much better around here. The boys are finally opening up a little more at tutoring. I had to practically drag them away from there today! Even John David doesn’t cry when I drop him off for the tutoring childcare! We have all met plenty of people that we truly like, and the fact is that I haven’t met one single person here that I can’t find something to like about.

I’m starting to remember. Oh yeah! I do like people!

Transitions are just hard, aren’t they? John David and I seem to have the hardest time with them. Every time I see him pitching a fit over some great new change in his life, I just remind myself, “This child is me.”

Moving across country and beginning home school all at one time was a huge transition. We’re over the hump. We still have rough days. I still make regrettable parenting errors, but I’m feeling hopeful.

That’s why I could never name my blog “Biblical Homemaking” or something like that. Can you imagine the pressure!? Ha! All it would take was one time for a neighbor to overhear me losing my patience with my family, and I would be completely discredited. Nope. Not trying to act like something I’m not. We’re just a family, trying to do what is best. We listen to God. We make mistakes. We get back up again. 🙂

I have some really great news for you. John David has successfully made the transition to toddler bed!

toddler bed transition complete!

Oh! Do you see those black out curtains? I’ve been storing those for 3 moves, and they finally came in handy! John David slept until 8 am for three mornings in a row.

I know! I hope you’re okay. Didn’t mean to make anyone choke on their coffee here. I was shocked too…

happy 19 month old

Happy JD. Happy parents. Sometimes he still wakes up at 1 am for cuddles though. yep. cuddles. I know. You hard-core folks would never put up with such, but hard-core we are not.

I was sitting in his recliner yesterday, and I chuckled at his neediness, “Oh, JD, you are so spoiled,” and as soon as I said it, I felt so sad! This child is not spoiled. This is the FOURTH baby. He rarely gets Mommy to himself. He gets a fraction of the amount of time with me that Joshua, or even Caleb or Daniel, got. With Daniel, I sent the big boys to school, and I was his all day long. JD doesn’t get that, so let the world shake their heads. If my baby needs some 1 am cuddles, then that’s just what he will get.

….And that’s why I have a strict policy about going to bed at 10pm now. It has changed my life! Over Christmas, I did all of that relaxing and sleeping, and I came home feeling like a new person. I decided then and there that I will never kill myself with sleep deprivation, stress, and unrealistic expectations again.

Do you remember my psoriatic arthritis theory and this thumb nail?

scary psoriasis fingernail….ewww

Well, it got a whole lot worse than that by Christmas, but guess what. You won’t believe it. My thumb nail is now completely NORMAL.  It’s all GONE!

So is my shoulder pain! You cannot convince me that the two are not related. I am quite sure that stress and sleep made a difference. I don’t want to end up with those nails, popping Advil 800, ever again.

In other news….Apparently, sleep is important to Alan too. Caleb came home from the Spongebob movie Saturday and said, “Hey, Mom, just to tell you, at Spongebob Squarepants, Dad fell asleep through a lot of it.”

haaaaaaaa I asked Alan about that. He looked a little ashamed. hehehe

Alan and the boys have a few things in common, when it comes to deciding what is interesting and what is not. The other night, they were taking too long to eat their dinner, so I whipped out a magazine article on glaciers and started reading it to Joshua, Caleb, and Alan. Alan protested and started digging around for the Childcraft book on great battles for freedom.

I thought the glacier article was fascinating. Halfway through, I stopped and quizzed them all, “Wow, so what animal lives in this glacier?”

Three blank stares.

Alan said, “No idea. That was boring. Can I read my story now?”

humph!  Caleb said, “Polar bears?”

“No! Didn’t y’all hear me say the part about the little black worms that feed on the invisible algae!!???”

They all sort of giggled and started making worm jokes. I still made them listen to the rest, though. The boys said they liked it, so at least we know they’ve learned to try to make their momma happy!

I wonder if they liked Alan’s story about the Battle of Tours better.

It’s 9:45, so I’d better get to sleep. Guess who is coming to visit this week!!  We are all so excited!!!

As Joshua said, “Aunt Jennings is coming!!  You remember, Caleb, she has the glasses. Don’t you remember? She gave us the Hank the Cowdog books!”

The Hank the Cowdog books are a hit. I even enjoy them!

Hope you all have a great week!   We’ll be having a ball showing Jennings our favorite California spots!

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