Several years ago, I began leading the children’s ministry at the church where my hubby and I attended at the time. We were in a small church, so I usually only had a handful of students. However, no matter the size of my class, it was important to me to give them all a solid foundation in the Word and a realization that God not only wanted a real and personal relationship with them right now, but He could also use them no matter their age and had great plans for their futures as well.
Part of instilling that message was the “Vision Verse” that God gave me for the children’s ministry, which was Daniel 11:32b: “The people who know their God will be strong and take action.”
For the first month or so after I started teaching them, we learned this verse, complete with motions (kids always learn stuff better with movement), and we talked about what it meant.
Lately I’ve been thinking about that verse again, and how it’s the same vision my hubby and I have for our own children now. Over the next few weeks, I plan to introduce this vision verse to our boys and share with them the same things that I taught my students about how it applies to them.
The People who KNOW THEIR GOD
Since WE are “the people” who should know our God, Brad and I want our children to understand how we can know God, how we spend time with Him, and how having a relationship with Him and truly knowing Him is different than just knowing ABOUT Him. It’s easy for children who are always in church and surrounded by Christian family members, Christian music, and Bible stories to know a lot ABOUT God.
The crucial point, though, is KNOWING HIM personally. And they can start that NOW, at nearly-3-years-old and 5.
We want our boys to love God with all their hearts, to be able to pray and talk to Him on their own (and WANT to), to know His voice and recognize His leading, and to understand the importance of reading their Bibles. We want them to know what the Bible says about God and His character – His love, His goodness, His mercy, His holiness, and His justice.
Will BE STRONG
As children of God who know Him well, we should be strong. We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, the same Spirit Who raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11). Because of this, we can be bold and courageous in our faith, and we are empowered to face temptation and choose obedience to God.
Both of our boys are strong-willed, like their mommy, and they are all about being strong, like super heroes, so this part shouldn’t be too hard for them to grasp. We want our boys to know that since God is with us, we can be powerful, tenacious, determined, and tough warriors who can live a life of no compromise, one that is holy and different from the world.
And TAKE ACTION
Once we truly know Him Whom we have believed, we are bold and courageous to take action, whatever that might be. It could be as simple (and difficult) as being kind to someone who isn’t nice to us or going wherever God asks us to go to reach the world with His love.
We don’t want our children to be content sitting back and doing nothing for God. We want to encourage them to use their gifts and talents in whatever ways He leads them. Our desire is for them to be active in their church, active in sharing their faith with others, and active in pursuing God and His purpose for their lives.
As parents we have the honor and responsibility of laying the spiritual foundation for our children. And while I have always aimed to give my all in teaching my students in the past and my preschool Sunday school class now, my biggest, most important ministry is to our two boys. Brad and I want to make certain that they truly KNOW their GOD, so they can BE STRONG in Him and TAKE ACTION whenever He calls them to.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL VERSE FOR YOUR FAMILY?
I also have a verse that has become my “Mommy Motto.”
*Note: I chose an easier translation of the verse for the children to learn. In the King James, the entire verse is this: “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” Exploits is a cool word, but a little harder for young children to understand and remember compared to “take action.”