#1. Never underestimate the power of family faith conversations. They’re critical for childrens’ spiritual development. So often, though, we feel ill-equipped to openly discuss matters of faith. Remember the handy acronym ALOT to help you tackle any topic from a faith-based perspective.
- Ask: Find out how your child feels about the situation or topic.
- Listen: Listen actively, without interrupting, while your child responds.
- Open: Open your heart—and your Bible, if you need to.
- Talk: Talk about your thoughts and feelings on the subject—and how they’re shaped by God’s Word. Then also talk to God in prayer about the issue.
#2. When you hit the road or just kick back with your children this summer, encourage them to open up about life and faith by asking these discussion-starting questions:
- What dreams and plans do you have for the summer? What goals should our family set for the next couple of months?
- When you think about your priorities, where does faith come in? How can people tell how important your faith is to you?
- How strong would you say your faith is right now? What are some ways we can trust God more?
- Which of God’s promises means the most to you now, and why?
#3. Learn about God’s creation—and our role in it—by doing these summertime activities together.
- Shine—To make your own “planetariums,” place oatmeal containers on scrap wood to protect floors. Help kids use a hammer and nail to gently punch holes in the bottoms of the containers. Turn out the lights. Put flashlights inside the containers and enjoy the light show on a ceiling or wall.
- Say: “Stars are large balls of gas that produce color, heat, and light. A star changes over time, but it takes millions—even billions—of years to live out its life span. The eye can typically see 2,000 stars on a clear night.” Then ask: “What would night be like without stars?” Read aloud Matthew 5:14-16. Ask: “Why do you think God wants us to be lights on earth? How can you shine for God?”
- Grow—Plant seeds close enough to the sides of clear plastic cups to be visible. Care for the seeds by giving them water and sunlight. After about a week, roots will be visible.
- Read aloud 1 Corinthians 3:7. Ask: “How did your seed form roots? What role did you, the potting soil, and the water play? What role did God play? Could the plant have sprouted without God?” Talk about ways we rely on God for our spiritual and physical growth. Close in prayer, thanking God for making all things possible.