See then that you walk circumspectly, . . . redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children (Isaiah 54:13).
Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck (Proverbs 1:8-9).
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him (Psalm 127:3).
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14).
“Let the children come to me...” Christ said in Matthew 19:14. Our Lord Jesus took time with children and blessed them in his earthly ministry. We are wise to be sure and do the same.
Our children, once they arrive on the scene, immediately begin to grow and grow fast. They are born into this world and oh how time flies. A few days after they are born, you blink your eyes and they are graduating from high school.
How time flies.
We as parents have our children for a few days and then they grow up and are gone.
So, we are wise as parents and as ministers that work with children to make the most of our time with them. In other words, we must redeem the time. We must use the time we have with them very wisely.
So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12
Yes, we need to redeem the time with our children. Yet a critical question is – how do we do that? What are things we can do to “redeem the time” with our children while they are growing up in our homes?
The following are a few discipleship projects or goals to pursue in the midst of discipling our children. They are tasks that can encourage spiritual growth and maturity in our children’s faith. In other words, these are things we can do with our children to help us to redeem the time with them.
Have each of your children read three chapters from the Bible aloud to you every day. If you are a grandparent, you could have your grandchildren to read three chapters aloud to you daily by phone if you need to do it that way. Coming up with a way to reward them so that they will be further motivated to read can often be a wise approach.
Pray daily with your children. Pray the Lord’s prayer with them daily, pray the Ten Commandments with them daily, and pray Psalm 91 with them daily. Reward them to memorize each of these prayers and allow them to lead them.
Pray the prayer of Jabez and the prayer of Isaiah with them daily. *
Assign them mission tasks daily. Some possible mission tasks could include: calling Grand Dad or Grand Mom or an elderly person in the church or community and read them a chapter from the Bible. Call them and pray for them. Go to the store and give out Gospel tracts.
Give your child a cash incentive to read a book about a missionary. Pray daily with your children for ministries and missionaries.
Have each of the children memorize the Ten Commandments and recite them out loud to you.
Discuss the meaning of one of the Ten Commandments and talk with them about how a Christian is to live them out in their lives.
Have Bible quizzes with your children. Figure out a way to give prizes for correct answers.
Give your children incentives to memorize passages of Scripture and recite them to you out loud.
Reward them for reading the whole book of Jonah out loud to you, the book of Ruth, book of Mark, Philippians, etc.
These are just a few ideas. You probably could quickly come up with a much longer list.
A key goal for us as parents, grandparents, Christian leaders who work with youth, etc., is to make planting the Word of God into the hearts and minds of our children a high priority.
The Word of God does so much for all of us and our children. It saves us, guides us, molds us, shapes us, and we could go on and on.
The Word of God is Jesus and Jesus is the Word of God.
So, when your child is reading the Word of God, he or she is spending time with Jesus.
And remember, the Word of God – Jesus – heals all the ills of life.
Let’s be wise stewards of our time with our children.
Let’s do all we can and should to introduce them to Christ and guide them to live their whole lives for Him. There is no better life that our children could live than a life lived closely and faithfully following Christ.
Let’s redeem the time.