Family photos reveal much about us and the people who shaped our early years. Why not take time with your children to learn something new from them? Dig a little deeper into scenes from previous generations. With photos on the screen before you, or with photo album in hand, here are a few ideas.
- Vocabulary words associated with family religious ceremonies (for example, kaddish, sanctification); and words that are no longer used by your family, and why.
- Words of wisdom: favorite expressions or words to live by used by people in the photo.
- Holiday decorations used in the photo and what they symbolize.
- Event pictured in the photo that triggered a change of heart or changed the relationship between people.
When children connect with God, they are forging their bond with a primary caregiver. They are establishing a stable relationship to God and a secure attachment pattern with God.
Some children express their faith through a combination of sensory perception, rituals and images. Lacy Borgo, a Spiritual Director for children, says: “Communicate that you’re here to listen. When kids are silent, hold that silence open for them without filling it with your words.”
Main point: Some kids experience God when they see beauty in stained glass windows or when candles are lit or other ways that don’t use words. These images reflect your own inner beliefs of who God is.
Meditation: ”Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Let’s talk: How is God at work in what you’re looking at? What meaning does it hold for you?
Not only are children’s interests different, but how they connect with other people is different. In a similar way, how they connect with God is going to be different.
Main idea: Some kids feel closest to God when they think and think, until they really understand something.
Meditation: “Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord…” Isaiah 1:18. “Test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21
Let’s talk: When you’re using your mind, how are you seeing life through God’s eyes?
To be able to sense God’s presence in everyday life is something many people desire. One way we strengthen that way of living is to stop for a minute in the day and consciously focus on God’s goodness.
Main idea: God loves to care for you and give you what you need.
Meditation: “Give all your worries to him, because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7
Let’s talk: Agree or Disagree —God is the one person you can trust to know what you need better than you do yourself. If you agree, why? If you disagree, why?
For some children, the accuracy of their beliefs is very important because, from these beliefs, he or she will stand for a cause, even at great personal expense.
Main idea: When you understand the truth of a situation or a principle, you stand up for it.
Meditation: “The Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Let’s talk: How did you express your Christian beliefs or ethics this past week?
Just as no two snowflakes are alike and no two sets of fingerprints are alike, no two connections between God a human being are alike.
Main idea: Many kids are able to experience God in the beauty of nature. They care strongly for the environment around them.
Mediation: “Ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?” Job 12:7-9
Let’s talk: How does nature connect you with who God is?