It is amazing what a kid can do in 5 minutes. My kids take 5 minutes to eat, 5 minutes to go from fighting to laughing, 5 minutes to scarf down a snack, 5 minutes for a power nap, 5 minutes to change clothes 5 times, and 5 minutes to spread out every toy they have on the living room floor. Today I made a discovery about what God can do with 5 minutes from a child.
Awhile back I wrote a little blurb about the power of spending 5 minutes alone with God each day. For me it is every morning, I read a few verses on my iPad and drink my coffee. It does wonders for me. God uses that 5 minutes to make me a better person, better wife, better mother, and better friend. I can handle stress in a more graceful way, I have a greater amount of patience, and my heart hears the whispers of the Spirit much better than when I go without my 5 minutes with God.
This afternoon, my sweet husband and I were having a discussion about things that he needed to do and why he thought we should skip church that evening. I argued the other way, I say, "the fact is we have to show our kids it is so important to take time out of our day specifically for God no matter how busy we are." He says, "we should do that everyday." I said, "But we don't." He says, "Then lets do that tonight at home. Put together a lesson that the kids will get something out of, and we will take time out to show our kids the importance of spending time with God." At first I resisted. Then I said, "ok, we can skip church, but we are having our own Bible lesson tonight."
I found a neat little idea online about the verse from Dt. 6, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might." So I printed up some little flash cards for the kids, and I told Brian when he got home from work that I was ready when he was to do our Bible lesson. I was sure it would be a little bit awkward, just because we had never had an official family bible study time. We talk a lot about God and Jesus, but never had we stopped what we were doing to sit and specifically study the word of God.
He read the verse, we talked about it as a family. The kids talked about the flashcards. We all talked about the importance of having the love of God in every part of us and talking about Him in all we do. The whole thing was around 5 minutes. We all stopped for 5 minutes and thought about 1 small Bible verse. That moment was an absolute breakthrough for my husband and I. After it was over, he said, "we should do that every day." I agreed with him wholeheartedly. It was almost as if we had both fulfilled an innate responsibility. My heart was at peace because I knew that I was doing the work of God. The kids were engaged, responsive, and excited. The normal stress and exhaustion that I exhibit before bedtime was completely gone and a huge sense of fulfillment and peace settled over me. It was a 5 minute break. All of that family bonding, spiritual fulfillment, inner peace, and wonder in the moment came from 5 minutes of worship. I cannot help but be amazed at a God who can do so much in such little time. What is even more amazing about this is that I can begin to train my children at this age (3,4, and 6) to choose to stop and focus on their relationship with God for 5 minutes.
My kids need that 5 minutes of family communion time with God, just like they need food, sleep, and air. It was obvious, they soaked it up like little sponges. The rest of the evening, they were happy, obedient, and even said yes ma'am with out me asking. Too good to be true, maybe. Worth trying again? Definitely.
The best way to teach your child to pray is to pray with them. The best way to teach your child to serve is to serve with them. The best way to teach your child to worship is to worship with them. The best way to teach your child to study is to study with them. The best way to teach your child the importance of setting aside time for God, is to set aside time for God for them.