I did not become a true believer in Christ until I was about to head into college. Having a quiet time was something I had never done before, so I had no idea how to do it. I still struggle, to this day, with being consistent in having a daily time with the Lord. It is so important, however, in the life of a believer, to have that time with Him – each and every day. He needs to be number one in our lives and priorities. Spending that daily time with Him helps us to grow in our faith, dependence, knowledge, and relationship with Him.
About a year and a half ago I began to think about what a huge blessing it would be to my kids if I taught them how to have a quiet time. What does that mean? What does it look like? How do you do it? I had told my kids in the past how important it was to have that daily time with the Lord when you are a believer, but how exactly is that done? I do think it is important that they see this modeled by us daily, as we spend our time with Him. But I felt the Lord was impressing on my heart to not only model it, but teach it to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly no expert on how to have a quiet time. The Lord has grown me in it, little by little, over these past 15 years of being a Christian. The good news is, you don’t have to be an expert at having a quiet time to teach your children how to do it! All you need to do is teach your children what the Lord has taught you!
So, a year and a half ago, we took 6 months to learn how to have a quiet time with the Lord, and here is what we did:
- Each morning, we started out by going to the Lord in prayer, together. We talked first about requests, things on our hearts, and then brought them before the Lord.
- We read aloud a chapter a day from the Gospels, starting with Matthew, and ending with John. This is what the Lord laid on my heart to read with them. You can start wherever the Lord directs you!
- Each day, after we read our chapter, we discussed it. I’d give each of the kids a chance to talk about what jumped out at them, and what the Lord showed them or impressed on their hearts as we read. Sometimes they had something to say, sometimes not. But I always gave them the opportunity, and encouraged them to think about what we read. I would also share what the Lord was impressing on my heart through reading that passage. The purpose of this discussion time was to teach the importance of not only reading God’s word, but also letting it sink deep into our hearts as we ponder its meaning and application to our lives.
- Finally, we each took a little bit of time at the end to write in our own personal quiet time journal. We would write down what passage we read that day. We wrote answers to a few questions like, “what did God teach me through His word today?”, “what sin did God reveal in my heart that I need His forgiveness for & for Him to change in me?” “Any other thoughts from what I read today?”, etc.
You could add in anything else that you feel would be important to teach your kids during this time (i.e. listening to a hymn or worship song). It was a great, purposeful, intentional time for us. The kids were glad we did it, and I feel the Lord has already used it. Time will tell just what type of impact it had on them. I pray the Lord uses it greatly in their lives.
I don’t think your kids have to be Christians for you to teach them how to spend time with the Lord. It is a good thing for them to learn. Since our teaching time, I do not make them spend time with God each day. It is up to them, and God’s prompting in their hearts. I trust that the Lord will lead them to do this if/when they are His. It has been a blessing to me to already see some desire on their parts to spend time with the Lord in His word. I know it is truly Him working in them, and not because of obligation – and I am so thankful for that.
We can’t force fruit in our kids lives. God produces the fruit. But we are called to teach them diligently in the ways of the Lord – and this is just one way the Lord has shown me to do that.
Your turn! What are your thoughts? Have you taught your kids how to spend time with the Lord? Do you have any ideas to add to this?
Katie Haggard is a homeschooling mom of 3 gifts from the Lord. She’s been married to the man of her dreams, her college sweetheart, and best friend for the past 13 years. She’s learned over the years that she can truly do nothing apart from Jesus working in and through her, and enjoys talking about God’s amazing grace on this journey of life at her blog, Boasting In My Weakness. She also enjoys connecting through Facebook & Instagram.