Monday, 28 February 2011

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Recite Bible Verses to your Toddler


Age: From 1 year old

From How to teach toddlers about God? Stick to one goal and one activity. If you are a Christian mom, why not recite bible verses to your toddler?

The Word of God is alive and has power to touch and change lives. The Bible says:

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12

Here is a simple method:

1. Memorize a verse each week.

2. Recite the verse to your child at bedtime along with the lullabies.

3. Tell your child, "J, remember that this is what God teaches us to do/not to do".

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Additional Information:
I mentioned in the introduction of my blog that our greatest wish that J may grow up to be a man after God's heart, reflecting Joshua 1:5-9.

When J was a baby, I would pray for him and with him each evening before he slept. I still do so. Now that he is older, I am looking into introducing a little more. One way is to hide God's words in our hearts and in our children's hearts and let the power of God's Word works in their lives.

Sometimes I can get overwhelmed with the vast varieties of resources available in the internet, all the fun activities we can do to tell our children about God and His character. I wish I am a stay-at-home mom so that I have the time to try out and implement all these different activities, but I am a working mom. But still I can do something.

The solution is to keep it simple and stick to one goal and one activity.

One simple way is to share with him the word of God. The most effective way of doing this is to recite it to J. The most effective way of reciting them is to memorize them myself. And this is the one goal, activity and method that I have chosen. If I can do this one thing, I would have succeeded. This is the goal I set for myself this year. I will memorize just one verse (i.e. one sentence) when I am on the train or in the shower for example.

The other benefit is that reading, hearing and memorizing the Word of God will do me good too. Often time, it can be a struggle for mothers to find time to do quiet time. But yet quiet time is so important. Without it, we would not be able to hear His still small voice guiding us and giving us wisdom and strength for our daily life and challenges. When I use this method of memorizing a verse, it also becomes part of my quiet time. Furthermore, it is also a way for me to set a good example to J. Normally, when I recite it, I will be unsure of certain words, especially grammar. I will then look it up, and my English improves as a result.

Because this method is so simple, it is more achievable. I just need to make sure not to be too ambitious and memorize too many verses all at one go, then loses steam and stop, but just to stick to one verse.

Don't worry about whether you will succeed or not in bringing your child up to love God, just focus on planting the seed and enjoy the journey. Keep at it and continue to put in the hard work. If you forget or slacken, don't be overwhelmed with guilt, just come back again. If you do your part, God will honour your work. God will do His part. The Bible says in Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Just trust God. In 20 years' time, I believe I will see the fruit of the labour of God's Word working in J's life.

I have started sometime ago to memorize and recite Tang dynasty poems (ok, sometimes I do slack a little) to J. If God is the most important person in my life, why am I not memorizing the Bible verses, which have far more value than the Tang dynasty poems. The beautiful words of ancient Chinese poets have value, but the Word of God is invaluable. In the pusuit of achievements, I must remember to put God first. All things else come second. Otherwise, they will just become idols, meaningless and futile.

Last week was the first week I started memorizing bible verses for J. The verse I memorized was from Ephesians 4:29: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for buidling otheres up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

This week, my memory verse is from Ecclesiastes 5:10: "Whoever loves money never has enough money; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless." I just memorized it in the train on the way home from work. I am so excited to recite it to J this evening at bed time.

On a personal testimony that I would like to share. When I was young, my English was very poor, as I grew up from a Chinese-speaking family, and started learning English only at the age of 7. I struggled a lot, cried a lot and hated homework which required me to write composition. Because of the amount of energy put into English, I hated going to school. I even pretended to be sick to miss school, because I did not manage to complete the English homework. Because I had so much struggle with English in school, it is one of the reasons why I am determined that J should learn 3 languages right from day one, and not wait until he is 9 years old (the age kids start learning English in school in Denmark). When people tell me, "Don't worry, J will learn English". I just smile as I don't believe it. I remembered how much I had sweat and struggled to learn English. I got to know God when I was 12 years old. I actually learned English through reading and memorizing the Bible. Ironically, my English improved in leaps and bounds. The English skills I have today, I owe it to God and His Word.

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