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Some Minimum Daily Requirements

Focus on the Family, September, 1992, p. 13

Some Minimum Daily Requirements

Your child's journey from 4 to 14 is very short. Christian parents need to put God into each day during this impressionable time.

As a father of five foster children and a preschool teacher for 10 years, I'm convinced that the following practices&md;instilled early&md;can teach children to hold onto God during the difficult adolescent period:

1. Hang a picture of Christ in each child's bedroom. Children are often quicker to respond to pictures than to words.

2. Teach your child how to pray. By the time a child is 5, he should be able to speak one-sentence prayers with a parent. By the time he's 6, he should be looking for answers to his prayers. But avoid correcting a child's prayers. They are between him and God.

3. Bless your child each morning. If you want to see sudden dramatic improvement in your family and young children, try this. I admit it sounds formal, but it's been a miracle for many. Place one hand on the shoulder or head and repeat a blessing from Scripture, such as one of the following: "May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace" (Num. 6:24-26) or "May God strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being so that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith" (Eph. 3:16). You can also choose your own words. The spirit of the blessing impresses even the youngest children. Giving a blessing can also renew a parent's heart.

4. Take short walks. Get outside to God's world as much as possible. You can identify trees, capture bugs and look at scenery. Let creation declare the glory of God.

5. Purchase Scripture cards from your Christian bookstore and leave them on the kitchen table. Reading from God's Word as part of the mealtime prayer is a great way to remind the family of God's presence.

6. Display your child's Sunday school lesson. Letting a youngster's efforts die a painful death on the car floor can leave hurt feelings.

Of course, none of these efforts is a guarantee that your daughter or son will know God. But incorporating some of these ideas will be a daily reminder of His presence and love.

by Charles White