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If there's one thing you should know about me it's that I'm passionate about faith-based intentional living. I'm even running a Bible study based on intentional living! I'm pretty OCD and struggle with bad anxiety so planning out my day and living intentionally helps me feel like I have some control over things and it most definitely helps me to feel and stay organized. I've already talked about how I am intentional with my daily routine and one of the things I work to include in my routine is God time. Not only do I do my best to include God time in my own day, I try to sprinkle Jesus into my toddler's daily activities as well.
Whether it's through the Bible lesson/verse that is related to his tot school theme for the week or what I talk to him about, I've found many different ways to sprinkle a little Jesus into his every day. @@As Christians Jesus should be a natural topic of conversation@@, really our whole day should be focused around Christ. To help your child grow up in a Christ-centered environment, I've come up with six simple ways to intentionally include some Jesus into your child's day.
ways to bring jesus into your child's day
1. Watch Faith-Based Shows
There aren't many faith-based children's shows out there, certainly not on public television, but there are options out there! Three platforms we use for watching faith-based Children's shows are Netflix, Hulu, and RightNowMedia.
On Netflix really the only faith-based show we watch is VeggieTales, although they don't offer as many VeggieTales movies as they used to. Fortunately, Hulu has good-sized collection of newer VeggieTales movies, including William's favorites Madame Blueberry and League of Incredible Vegetables. RightNowMedia is a website that our church subscribes to and then gives access to small group leaders because it offers videos that are a part of various Bible studies. In addition to the adult Bible study videos, RightNow also has a wonderful kid's section. They have shows like VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins, Adventures in Odyssey, Buck Denver asks...What's in the Word?, and so much more! I highly recommend Buck Denver, even for adults! Phil Vischer, one of the original creators of VeggieTales, makes this awesome show. It's insanely informative but yet so much fun, it's a great way to familiarize yourself with the who, what, where, when, and why's found in the Bible.
2. Listen to Christian Music
Having worship music on in the background is a great way to include worship into your child's day. It also provides an opportunity to teach your child how to worship God through everyday tasks. I recommend using Spotify if you're not sure where to start with Christian music. There are a lot of great Christian bands out there with uplifting, encouraging, and worshipful music. There are also many Christian artists who solely sing Children's music. You know, like silly songs that toddlers would like to dance to. Bands like Slugs & Bugs, Steven Courtney, Bruce Fite, Phredd, and even the VeggieTales soundtracks are great places to start for the more silly music (my dad works for a local Christian radio station and they play songs from all of these musicians during the Saturday kid's radio block).
3. Use the Bible for Kids App
YouVersion recently released a Bible for Kids app, which is a fantastic resource. If I don't feel like eating breakfast in silence (William is very focused when he eats, ha), I'll often pull out this app for us to watch/listen to. The app includes many interactive Bible stories, simplified for children. You can choose to either read the story out loud yourself or have the narrator read it and then it gives you a little interactive, animated scenario for you to tap and play around with. I talk more about the app in this post.
4. Pray at Meals + Bedtime
This is one of the easiest ways to sprinkle some Jesus into your child's day. We were really intentionally about praying with William at these times and now he holds out his hands for us to hold during prayer before he eats his meal (most of the time, that is). It's also a great time to show your child how to give thanks to God.
5. Read Bible Stories
When you're reading books to your child throughout the day or at bedtime, you can be intentional in choosing books based on Bible stories. Some books you could read include [affiliate links]: Jonah and the Fish by Dandi Daley Mackall, Inside Noah's Ark by Charles Reasoner, God Made You Special by Greg Fritz (this is one of our favorites!), Jesus Calling: My First Bible Storybook, and Zacchaeus and Jesus by Dandi Daley Mackall.
6. Talk About Jesus Regularly
And last but certainly not least, be intentional in talking about Jesus regularly. When disciplining, point to Bible verses or pull out the trusty phrase "what would Jesus do?" Use your child as encouragement to speak about Jesus to others, even to strangers! The more they see and hear you talking about Jesus, the more they will learn and thus, the more they will fall in love with Jesus for themselves.
It's so important to include God in our days, one cannot pour into others if your own cup is empty, but it is just as vital to intentionally include Jesus in your child's day. What other ways do you include Jesus in your child's day (or your own day!)? Does your child have a favorite faith-based storybook? A favorite faith-based tv show/movie? How about a favorite VeggieTales movie (that's what I grew up on!)?