I don't have any great answers but here are a few thoughts...
*Teaching kids to love Jesus starts when they take their first breath not when they are going into Junior High or High school. As our kids grow and hit these years we begin to realize how important it is/was to take them to church and to have relationships there. Our kids see what is important to us from the beginning. There is so much to forming healthy habits. Having our families in fellowship at our churches and giving them the opportunity to form good relationships there is so important. It helps to mold what the rest of their lives will probably look like.
It is NEVER too late to focus on Jesus and be in fellowship with other believers. Ever.
It is just a great idea to do it from the beginning.
The key: doing it with joy and excitement and the only way we can project that is too walk closely with Jesus and to be in the Word. If we are infected and affected by Him- they will see our genuine joy and want what we have. We want them to form their own exciting belief for Him. Their own faith.
News flash- our time to tell them and show them how to love Jesus while they are at home speeds by way too fast.
From this age-To up and out of the house and grown up.
A blink of the eye.
I believe the most important aspect of this is that we are saying that we are not going to be selfish and that God is greater and more important than anything that any of us wants to do otherwise. Our lives and the lives of our children are not about how to fashion OUR wonderful story.
Our lives are about HIS story and how we fit into it and how we can make a Kingdom difference for Him.
*Another thought we have been talking about lately is how boys view Jesus differently than girls do. There is no difference of course in His love for us but the rub is in how men emotionally respond to Him. Wes has mentioned before that it is a challenge for men to show that they can be emotional about Jesus. Maybe it is just not cool or some feel it shows weakness or whatever. It seems it is easier probably for girls/women to feel more of bond or emotional tie with Jesus. He is a sort of brother or father figure and naturally women lean on men and feel protected by them. Maybe that is why so many men don't seem to be the spiritual leaders that their families need them to be because of how strange it might look or feel to love Him the way He calls us to. Certainly the world sees it as strange and that is a lot of pressure.
I pray with all my heart that men will be moved to see that they can lead with joyful and open emotion about Jesus.
Please men, speak about Him, cry about Him, love like Him and be emotional about Him.
Be the spiritual leader for your wife and for your children. Don't make your wife take this role.
Show your family how to love Jesus. Bless them to see that it is more than ok to show that you have emotions about Jesus.
We encourage our boys to let their hearts be emotional about God and about what Jesus did and does for us. I have to challenge myself almost daily to measure my excitement about the things that I do get most emotional over and think about what is most important.
*BE IN THE WORD EVERY DAY.
It is alive.
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
*Intentionally surround ourselves with other people that are seeking His face.
Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad. Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth…
I pray especially for our men that as you dwell in His word, that you ask Him for this change in your heart to be able to share emotion about Jesus with your families. This might just rock our church worship and world and I guarantee the story of our children and their lives will be filled with Kingdom movement and thoughts. Their path has a much greater chance of being directed to Him if our men find their fire and emotion for Jesus and intentionally speak life into their kids. How blessed your wife will be also.
Let's let go of our story and make it all about "His story".
Have a joyful and intentional day!