Updated: Jan 15
Let's face it, being a parent comes with many challenges! You may often find yourself completely wiped out by the end of the day, and you're nightly praying for an act of God to even get your beautiful little angel into their bedtime routine. As a father who has prayed that prayer many times, I want to let you in on a pro-tip that has literally changed the dynamic of our household in this area.
There is hope, and His name is Jesus! As stressful and chaotic trying to get your little one into a bedtime routine can be, there is a way where you too can successfully experience the peace and presence of God even in the craziest moments of meltdown, energy explosions, limitless talking, etc that our little ones throw at us when they should be winding down for bed.
If you're looking for a way to to accomplish two things at once, Here are 5 Practical Steps to Getting Your Child ENGAGED in God's Word and as an added bonus will ultimately lead to a smoother transition for them into bed!
STEP 1: Calm yourself first by initiating a quick breath prayer. There is no set formula for which prayer to pray, just intentionally connect with God, and invite Him to occupy your mind and heart while you prepare to wrangle your kid into a landing pattern. This all starts with you being at peace, and Jesus is the Prince of Peace, so press in for more of Him in this moment. Remember He was able to not only sleep through storms, He was able to command them to be still!
STEP 2: Grab your copy of The Beginner's Bible, and either place your child in the bed, or invite them to lay down and get into it on their own. For the first couple weeks they may not sit still or engage for long, but you need to start somewhere. As long as they are in the room and can hear your voice, you're making progress!
If you do not already own this book, you should! You can purchase a hard copy on Amazon for under $10 it has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating from almost 8,000 global reviews (at the time of writing this blog). This is one of the top rated Children's Bibles out there and it's now one of my daughters favorite books that SHE ASKS ME TO READ TO HER!!
STEP 3: Begin to explain to your child how cool God is! You don't even need to open the book yet. This is key!! Establish connection and conversation with them first! Get their attention by narrowing in on some of the more exciting Bible stories like David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions den, Noah's ark, Jesus feeding the 5,000, etc. Patiently navigate through the distractions that may arise by remembering that God is with you (don't forget about step 1) and stay the course! Try to relate these Bible stories and heroes to their current interests and heroes. Then slowly start shifting the conversation over to reading the Bible stories. Make it fun and entertaining for them. Over time and repetition they will begin to love and look forward to spending this specific time with you!
STEP 4: Open the The Beginner's Bible and show them some of the awesome artwork within the pages. This book has amazing pictures that will help keep your kids engaged! Show them the stories you told them about. Start off slow. Maybe read them 1 story at first and gauge to see if they can handle another one.
To see some sample pictures click here: https://amzn.to/38fumaN
STEP 5: Repetition is your friend! Build a daily routine, and reinforce the names of the stories along with the characters within them. and then start talking with your kids about how they can apply these principles to their lives. In my house we started saying prayers of thanks after reading a few Bible stories, and then my daughter goes peacefully to sleep. THIS WORKS!!
Proverbs 22:6 says that we should train up children in the way that they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. As parents we have a responsibility mandated from the Lord to raise our kids right! Family is very important to God, and we have the opportunity to not only introduce our kids to the Lord, but the blessing of watching their faith develop and grow! Start them off early and begin tonight! If you haven't ordered a copy of The Beginner's Bible yet do it after you read this post!!
I'm encouraged to share with you from firsthand experience how the Word of God in the form of a children's Bible can open up beautiful interactions and exchanges with your kids when you intentionally prioritize and facilitate the building of a life long relationship between your child and God.
Remember, God loves our kids more than we do, and time spent in His presence is never wasted! So next time you are feeling discouraged, drained, frustrated, and emotionally numb, due to seemingly lost and endless battles trying to get your child to bed, try to implement these 5 steps on a regular basis. God is not a respecter of persons. He brought peace and routine to my house in this area, and He can do it in yours as well!
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