Dear Diary, Growing up, I went to church every single Sunday. As a matter of fact, my family of seven, spent Fridays worshipping as well. I sang in the children’s choir, served on the usher board and went to church cookouts. My family prayed together–over food and over each other. Every morning, we read the Bible before leaving for school. As I matured spiritually, I learned that I had to seek God on my own. I joined a church and almost always toted an enlightening book in my bag. I talked to God daily–sometimes through tears. I almost always did the right thing and followed the Golden Rule. But something was missing. I always had an innate sense that I wanted to live my life as a follower of Christ, and at a very young age I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. I thought I knew how a Christian was supposed to be and so I was that Christian. Except being a Christian was more than what I was doing. In order to be a follower of Christ, I needed to know what I believed and why. I couldn’t just hang on my family’s Christian coattails. I needed a strong, Biblical foundation. Knowing what you believe and why you believe it is essential to your spirituality. As a Christian, the Bible tells me to worship God as the Lord of my life and always be ready to explain why I believe. If you don’t know what you believe how can you lead your children or others to believe something as well? I grew up reciting these two prayers. Now, knowing what I believe and why, I religiously recite the words to my children. Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I awake, I pray the Lord my soul to take Prayer became a part of our daily routine just like brushing our teeth and kissing each other goodnight. My children, 7- and 4-years-old, now do these things without prompting and are happy to inform you that you are not allowed to eat without saying grace! Although they do these things daily, they aren’t done with a lazy or dry attitude. They add their own personalities and excitement into every prayer they utter. Here’s How We’re Raising a Spiritual Family: 1. Be Open to Individual Expression When my husband–my high school sweetheart and licensed minister–and I started reciting prayers to our children, we had no idea that they would, in their own unique way, become spiritual beings themselves. When they hear me pray, they will chime in and add a new friend or a “thank you” for something big in their world; Thank you for stopping the rain so we could play outside today. I often hear my kids singing songs they learned at vacation bible school or children’s church. Then there’s my son who will don his Superman cape and proclaim that he is Jesus all the while my daughter is yelling that he is not her Savior! 2. Answer Questions When my children see their father reading his Bible, they instantly want to join him, asking questions along the way; who is he reading about, what did they do? He engages them with kid-friendly language, and in-turn, asks them questions. After attending service on Sunday mornings, they look forward to being quizzed about that day’s lesson. Questions range from the simple, who was the lesson about, to a bit more complex of why/how does this apply to us? When our children have questions, we encourage them to find the answers in the text of the Bible. We will have them interpret the text for themselves while gently guiding them. Sometimes my children ask questions I simply don’t know the answers to! When this happens we look it up together, and we all learn something new. 3. Be an Example Teach your children by your actions and the rest will fall into place. It is not unusual for us to be driving home from a family outing and have my husband stop the car because he sees someone in need. My children witness their father pray with the individual and then give them whatever money he may have in his billfold. This simple non judgmental act of compassion, empathy and kindness encourages our kids to do more and make a difference in whatever way they can. Hey DFTM Fam–You don’t have to be the Dalai Lama or Mother Theresa to raise a spiritual family. How are you teaching your children about God? Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.