A few weeks ago we discussed how to make family worship time applicable for all the age ranges that we may have in a normal family dynamic. I want to dig a little deeper on a few of the age break downs that I have in a previous post. This week I am going to be examining some of the best methods of imparting Biblical truth into your 13 – 24 month old.
There are a lot of people that would say that trying to teach children of this age anything of theological value is pointless. I would disagree vehemently. This is the perfect opportunity to you to put tons of biblical truth into a child.
Paul David Tripp gives the example in his Getting to the Heart of Parenting Seminar of the vocabulary expertise of a one-year-old. The simple mistake of a one year old saying the phrase, “I throwed it”, is tremendously intelligent. The parent of that child did not teach them that when speaking about something that occurred in the past tense that they needed to add an “ed” on the end of a word. The child figured it out. They discerned that while speaking in the past tense the normal procedure is to add an “ed” to the action within the sentence. I am sure that was never discussed, but they figured it out.
Also when giving correction to your child about what they should or should not do, they are able to rightly discern the clear choice of right or wrong. For example, if you tell your child not to play with the box fan that is sitting on the chair, they understand what you are saying. That is why at some point in the near future they will walk up to that box fan and reach to touch it. But just before they do they will stop, turn, and look at you to see how you are going to react to their defiance of your rules.
In the same way children are capable of being taught biblical truths the same way that we teach them right and wrong. You don’t tell them to stop playing with the wall outlet just once, your intentionally repetitive. Biblical truths should be taught the same way. You cannot explain to them that God made all of the animals and expect them to get it the first time. Teaching them has to become a way of life for your children to fully understand the magnificence of God. This isn’t to say you need to become a hyper-spiritual person who looks at every available opportunity to beat your children over the head with Jesus. But it is something that you are called, as a parent, to do throughout the day in the life of your child.
When it comes to doing family devotion time, simplifying the overall truth to your child’s level is the best way to incorporate them into the conversation.
Deuteronomy 6 commands parents to be teaching their children as they sit/walk/lie down/rise up. This is a continual process throughout the day of sharing the truths of God with your children.
- God Made Mommy
- God Made Daddy
- God Made (Childs Name)
- God made the trees
- God made the lights
- God made the sky
- God Loves Us
Sometimes children will not verbally acknowledge that they understand what you are teaching them. This is not the most important part. It is vitally important that you beginning investing and putting energy into cultivating a relationship with God into your children.
Often at such a young age children will start off by saying “God” and then pointing or looking at the object which God made. This is tremendous progress and it will give you encouragement to continue the process of discipleship.
Praying with your children is another method to teaching your young children about how we respect God. Taking the time to sit with your child every single night and pray with them will only encourage them to participate in the activity. After doing this every night for a couple of weeks your child will begin praying with you. Albeit, you will not be able to understand them but they will begin to mimic your actions by praying with you.
Remember this; you are the first example of Christ that your children will see.