Our daughter stared at me wild-eyed, with hair disheveled and tears streaming down her cheeks. At only eight years old, nighttime was more of an opportunity to be scared than it was to get some sleep! She could never quite put her finger on it. But she felt it. Uncontrollable emotion always erupted shortly after I left the room at bedtime and again in the middle of the night.
I would do my best to console her, pray with her, encourage her, and sometimes just hold her. I look back now and I am thankful it was just a season she has long grown out of. Nighttime no longer means nightmares for her, or for me! In the middle of those years, I felt like they would never end. And it was in those times that I only knew of one place to point her. My words could help her fear, but Jesus’ words could conquer her fear. The words of Jesus were, and still are, powerful in the hearts and minds of our children.
It was during those long nights that I would remind Bella that God was for her. That she could trust Him. He would take care of her. One verse in particular that I encouraged her to remember was Psalm 56:3. The psalmist writes,
“When I am afraid I put my trust in You.”
We encouraged her to memorize it, believe it, cling to it and pray it in the middle of the night. It was her best defense against the darkness that all of us face.
Truthfully, as adults we can tend to underestimate the power of memorizing God’s Word, so it is no surprise that we can forget to give our kids the best tool they could have in their every day life. God’s Word stored in their hearts.
Here a few more of my favorites:
Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
There are many times in our children’s lives where they need the Word of God to remind them of who He is in their life. Struggles inevitably come and they need to be reminded of whom their strength ultimately comes from.
Mark 4:39 – “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”
Sometimes we need to hear Jesus say to our storms and chaos, “BE STILL!” Jesus’ voice is more powerful than ours. Our kids will face countless storms and turbulent waters. Jesus is not only present in our storms; Jesus is powerful in our storms.
Matthew 6:21 “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also.”
In a culture that often values fame or fortune, these words of Jesus remind our kids what life is really about. More than living for ourselves, Jesus invites us to live for what will last. They guard us from living a shallow or self-centered life.
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to father except through me.””
We don’t always get a map. But God gives us a Person to follow. When we walk after Him, we can be sure we are on the path of truth and life. Our kids need to be reminded that following Jesus really is the good life. It is the abundant life of loving God and loving others that brings true joy.
Matthew 28:20 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
And finally, the promise of Jesus that He will never leave us. We parent our children for a season, but ultimately God Fathers them forever. When they are in Christ, they can have the confidence that they are never truly alone. God is good and faithful, lovingly leading them, every step of the way.
Parenting is a lot like farming – we are cultivating the soil of our kids’ hearts. One of the best ways we can help them reap a harvest tomorrow is by planting God’s Word in their hearts today.
What are your favorite Bible verses to teach kids?
Ruth Schwenk, TheBetterMom.com
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