Thursday, July 17, 2014

10 {Scriptural} Encouragers for Our Kids

At the grade school my kids attended, they all received an "award" each year in recognition of a positive character quality their teacher saw in them. One of my daughters consistently got either "cheerfulness" or "friendliness". One night at the table, when she was about eight, we were talking about the rewards we would receive in heaven. She let out a big sigh and said in a deep God-like voice, "For you, the reward for friendliness!"

We all burst out laughing!

I thought about those awards recently  when I was reading in 2 Timothy 4:2. Paul tells his spiritual son, Timothy
"Publicly proclaim the Word of God! Be ready all the time. Have it on the tip of your tongue. Use the Word when you need to correct and encourage others." 
(my paraphrase)

I was happy the teachers were pointing out to the children their virtues and strengths, and all the times we and others have encouraged our children with a, "Good job, buddy," but as I read these verses, I thought how much better it would be to actually use scripture to encourage them! Far more effective would be to let them know they are not only exhibiting a positive trait, but obeying God.

Here are some of the ideas I came up with:

  • To your son when he says he will wipe the counters and sweep the floor while you are out and does: "Thank you for letting your yes, mean yes." (Matthew 5:33-37)
  • To the same child who also empties the dishwasher and takes out the trash, "Thank you for going the second mile for me!" (Matthew 5:41)
  • To a child who helps the neighbor rake the leaves and won't take money for it, but tells them they do it because Jesus told them to love their neighbor: "That is the way to let your light shine!" (Matthew 5:16)
  • To your daughter when she invites the least popular person to a special event: "I was so pleased to see you not showing favoritism."  (James 2:1)
  • To the child who plays his little brother's game choice instead of what he would like to do: "I appreciate you treating your brother the way you would like to be treated." (Matthew 7:12)
  • To your daughter when she says, "No" to what everyone else is saying, "Yes" to: "You aren't copying the world, but letting God transform you." (Romans 12:2)
  • To the boy who praises his dad when all the other kids are bashing theirs: "I appreciated how you honored your father in front of your friends." (Ephesians 6:2)
  • To the child who kindly thanks an old lady for the gift of a pair of socks, "I'm sure God was pleased by your thankfulness." (Colossians 3:15)
  • To the teenager who turns the channel during the lewd halftime show saying, "We don't need to watch that!" : "You were such an example of being pure as God is pure." (1 John 3:3)
  • To your son who uses part of his Christmas money to buy a present for a less privileged child. "You have learned that it is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35)

Wouldn't it be great to have Scripture "on the tip of our tongue" like that? We would be teaching our children "when you sit in your house [around the table] and when you walk by the way [carpool] and when you lie down and when you rise up." (Deuteronomy 6:7)

What other ways can you think of to use scripture to encourage our kids?

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  1. Great post! A couple of years ago I got "Hide em in Your Heart" CDs by Steve Green. We started listening to them in the car. One day, I asked my then toddler daughter to go sit somewhere safe-but-boring while I did an exciting-to-her, but dangerous job. To my shock, she promptly did it without complaining - then, off in the distance I could hear her singing "Do everything without arguing or complaining!" I was amazed at what am impact the Bible verse had had on her at such a young age : )

  2. I am going to use these with my kiddos! Thanks for a great idea!
    Cheryl (

    1. I wish I'd been more intentional about this with my kids. But I'm starting now!



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