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Simple Ways to Reach the Hearts of Our Children

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I originally published this post on Raising Arrows in 2011. 

Simple Ways to Reach the Hearts of Our Children
Copyright: bravissimos / 123RF Stock Photo

Gaining and keeping the hearts of our children is a full-time job in which we must employ an eternal perspective. I daily pray and ask the Lord for simple ways to reach my children’s hearts. Some days I feel that I failed miserably, but that is where God’s grace picks up where I leave off. I prayerfully keep the mindset that every minute I am together with my children is another opportunity for me to sow more of God’s truth and goodness into their lives. If I hold their heart, I can draw them to His. Heart keeping doesn’t have to be complicated. It does, however, cost our most precious commodity, our time. It is important that we adjust our focus so that we see that everything we do along side our children is reaching their hearts for eternity.

Here are some simple ways we can reach the hearts of our children:

Draw and color together – This is free. Out of our five children thus far, I have one wild card, strong-willed, tiger-of-a-child. (May I also throw in that this child is the only girl and the middle child.) I know the Lord made her very strong for a reason. I asked the Lord to show me ways to reach her heart. He showed me one of the simplest ways to reach her heart is drawing with her. It’s during these times of drawing puppies, kitties and €œsnake babies, that I find she’s touching my arm on purpose or snuggling very close.

Board Games – Yes, the long drawn out ones that take hours. I just finished a massive Monopoly game with our older sons {8 & 11} that stretched over two days and took over six hours to complete. When we play games as a family, we strengthen our bonds and have volumes of great conversation. I accomplish these longer games with our older children during the nap time of younger children or in the evening and on my husband’s days off.

Copyright: lufimorgan / 123RF Stock Photo

 Cooking – Some of our favorite times as a family are when we’re cooking together. I use mealtime as a training ground for life skills and heart cultivating. My 10-year old can scramble eggs and make toast. Our younger children love helping by spreading biscuits on a baking sheet. I have another child who is keen on making Jell-O and brownies. All of these cooking activities can be completed beside me while I’m working in the Kitchen.

Family Reading Time – We are all wild about reading great books as a family. Of course, the Bible is the greatest book and is at the forefront of our reading time. Everyone loves to flop down on a snuggly couch, or quilt under our shady tree, and get lost together for hours in great reading. I believe our reading time is a massive door to the hearts of my children. Our deeply spiritual conversations usually sprout as we’re reading God’s word together. Jesus grabs all of our hearts and pulls us together towards His.

Work – Whether it’s working on chores with mom or changing the oil with dad, I see our children strengthened after we’ve worked together. Working side-by-side with my children allows me to instill in them a good work ethic and values that God and family matter most.

Their interest – What about Legos, playing tag and jumping on the trampoline? As often as I’m able, I spend time doing something additional that they find interesting. My children build Legos, so I build Legos. When my small children nap, I’ll jump on the trampoline with our older children. Also, everyone turns to giggles when we play tag or hide-n-seek as a family, and mom gets some exercise thrown in!

Most important – The most important aspect of reaching your children’s hearts is to call on the name of the Lord. Pray, seek, ask, knock. Lift your children up in prayer to the One whom created them for His purpose and predestined you to have authority over them for this season. What a privilege we have to be used by Him to usher these eternal souls toward the throne of His grace. He will give you wisdom as to what each child needs specifically, to reach their hearts for Him.

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