Children are “copy cats.” They mimic anything that entertains them. Therefore, example is the best teaching tool. You’ve heard that for eons. Say that you read every night. Your children are witnesses to this fact. At bedtime, you read to them. Through your examples, they will naturally copy you. Likewise, your children will know and love Jesus Christ, just as they learn to know and love each parent, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors and so forth. They must be taught.
“Raising Godly Children,” dated Sept. 7, 2011, tells you, “…first step in teaching our children to worship is for fathers and heads of households to rediscover their duty to lead the family in daily worship.” This follows what John told you in his Gospel (John 14:6) taken from The Message: Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”
Through daily practice of prayer, meditation and worship, loving and respecting Jesus Christ becomes as much a part of daily living as does brushing teeth before bedtime and cleaning up and putting away toys after play. “This can be simply done by practicing holding your children on your lap, at home, for fifteen minutes at a time during family worship.” To children, a quarter of an hour can seem like a very long time, but once it becomes a habit, they acclimate to it. Then, when the family attends regular Sunday service, children recognize it as being a time set aside to worship; it is a time to be silent, to listen and to pray.
“Nothing holds the attention of children like a visual. When choosing an item for illustration, select something at least as big as a bread basket.” What child doesn’t enjoy cutting out photos from magazines? Through various God-related activities, children relate to Jesus as being like a family member. Danielle’s Place is a source of craft activities you can do in your home. DLTK is another. AHC Arts and Crafts is yet a third. These are only a few of the choices from which to select when looking for theme-related activities that bring religion to life for your children.
Going back to example, serving the Lord Jesus Christ follows the same premise. Your children are witnesses to the good deeds you perform for others – driving someone to church or to the grocery store, preparing food for an ill individual or family; visiting a shut-in, and helping in food bank or soup kitchen. When children participate with you, once again, it becomes a very natural way of life, which they will then carry into adulthood and eventually pass on to their children, who will become the next generation of Jesus-action copy cats.