Parents often find it challenging to create opportunities that allow them to lean into their children with the truths of scripture. As a mother of two rambunctious boys, it was important to be prepared for those unexpected occasions when recalling a relevant Bible verse in the moment could make a lasting impression. But, just as importantly, I had to be intentional about creating moments—God moments—where I made the time to talk to them about the truths in God’s Word. I needed to develop a relationship with them that would provide a solid foundation as they grew into young men. My influence needed to go deeper spiritually. Scripture should and could make a lasting, godly impression on their lives and I wanted to help them understand that.
What if I chose a verse—a life verse—for each of my boys? Bible verses that reflected their unique personalities, their struggles, and promises of God that, if properly emphasized, would stay with them, deeply imbedded in their hearts and minds, for the rest of their lives. So, with prayer and trusting God for guidance, I set out to find scripture verses that would do just that. I decided on Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped.” for my youngest son. And for my oldest, Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Each one had special meaning specifically matched to the boys they were chosen for. I purchased brass plaques and had their new life verses custom engraved on them. Then, I attached those plaques to the headboards of their beds. I wanted the boys to visibly see God’s Word above their heads every night and know that God was always watching over them. Like the blankets on their beds, I wanted them to know that they were forever covered by the truth of God’s Word.
Each night as part of our family bedtime routine we read those words, memorized those words, and claimed those words, especially if the day had been a difficult one. I often found the plaques covered in fingerprints (which I never wiped off), left by small fingers as they carefully traced the words while trying to fall asleep. The verses became my prayer for them and I often recited them silently, claiming them for their lives. Most times, they were not even aware I was doing it. Those verses made it into their lunch bags written on notes of encouragement and were frequently recalled during those teachable, unexpected, God moments. The truth of God’s Word penetrated deeply and saturated all of us with its power and promises.
My challenge for you is to find a special way to speak into your child using the truth of God’s Word. It begins with being intentional and committed to instilling the truths of Christ into your children. It begins with one verse.
Tracy Parker is the children’s pastor at Victory Highway Wesleyan Church in Painted Post, NY.