I call it Proverbs-on-the-go. Every night my son and I read a few verses from the book of Proverbs. It might not sound like a lot, but if we stick to our routine, we’ll have read the entire book in a year. (I know, some people read the entire Bible in a year, but when you’re dealing with a 14-year-old boy, you have to keep your expectations real.) Faith in God for boys is not always the most exciting topic for them.
Here’s more on how to make the Proverbs fun — and sink in, along with 4 more ways to grow your son’s faith.
1. Proverbs Potpourri
My Proverbs reading approach with my son is casual. Some nights I’ll sit by him in his bed and read the verses to him. Other times, I could be brushing my teeth and holler out, “Hey, hit me with some Proverbs!” Then he’ll bring the Bible to me and read the verses.
Afterward, we talk about what we’ve read then note the date in the margin. Oh, another thing, we don’t read the book start to finish. I’ll let him choose a number between 1 – 31 for the chapter, then we’ll choose a verse to start with. Just recently, I’ve started following up our reading of a traditional translation with the same verses from The Message.
2. Life Lessons with Nancy
My kids have a joke for my pontificating — when I get going they’ll say, “Life lessons with Nancy!” I basically use things we hear or see to grow their faith. For example, if we hear about a kid smoking pot in the high school parking lot I’ll say, “Wow! Can you imagine how his mom feels? That kid is definitely not honoring his mother and father.”
I want my son to see that faith can inform all of his life choices. I try to mention, pretty regularly, that following God’s plan makes life so much simpler because God’s already figured out what’s best for us.
3. Prayer Report
During my son’s basketball game last night I prayed hard for the players’ safety. On the way home, as my son and I were rehashing the game, I said, “Boy, that team was so physical. I prayed a lot that you boys wouldn’t get hurt.” Let your son know that you pray for him. Even if it appears that he doesn’t care, it’s sinking in.
iMOM founder, Susan Merrill, took many a call from her son when he was in college asking her to pray on exam days. He knew that she had prayed for him over the years and her faithfulness built his faith.
Let your son know that you pray for him. Even if it appears that he doesn’t care, it’s sinking in.
4. Good Deeds
There’s an old hymn we sang at church when I was growing up. “Each day I’ll do, a golden deed,” it began, “by helping those, who are in need.” I used to sing that a lot around the house when my kids were little. Now, I look for ways for my son to do good deeds.
Last Christmas break, much to his chagrin, I woke him early one day to help deliver gifts to migrant worker children at a school about an hour away. Once he got there, he was all in. He played with the little children and better understood God’s message about loving others and serving others.
5. Church Jobs
We go to church most Sundays, but I wanted my son to feel more a part of the service. I asked if my son, and two other boys his age, could take over the attendance counting. Now, every Sunday, I see my son walking up the side aisle counting. My son also attends Sunday school class. I figure that, at a minimum, every extra hour spent at church on a Sunday is one less hour of him asking me to use the phone or computer.
And, beyond that, he is getting exposed more and more to the principles of faith that will, hopefully, guide him in his life.
Tell us! How do you grow your son’s faith?