I was a worrier as a child. I had a wonderful childhood and I didn’t worry all day long, but I would lie in bed at night thinking about things that could go wrong — like missing an assignment or a friend not inviting me to a birthday party. Small things turned to big things in my head as I tried to fall asleep.
Today, there are more than enough reasons for our children to feel despair, fear, and anxiety — drowning in homework, worrying about getting into college, being let down by a friend, peer pressure, not making the basketball team, dealing with divorce, etc.. That’s before they start reading the news.
Some kids are more prone to worry and some are more likely to be optimistic, but there is one thing that our kids universally need: hope.
Children know the word hope well, but not necessarily in the way they need to know hope. You will hear them say, “I hope I get what I want for my birthday,” or “I hope I make a new friend this school year.” The hope they need to deal with all the emotions of growing up is built only on the promises of God.
According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, the definition of hope is “to trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.”
For Christians, our definition centers around Jesus who is our hope. We trust in, wait for, look for, and desire Jesus. Eternal life with Him is the “something beneficial in the future” which we expect.
We need not look anywhere other than the Word of God for help in teaching our children about this kind of hope. If you’re needing some guidance in knowing which promises from the Bible to teach them and have carry with them throughout the day, I’d like to point you to a new book of daily devotions for kids from Billy Graham called Hope for Each Day: 365 Daily Devotions for Kids.
Hope for Each Day is an ideal book for kids because the verse for each day is short and memorable, while the devotion helps them learn more and relate the verse to their life.
A few of my favorite verses highlighted in this book include:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? — Romans 8:35
Our children can trust that nothing and no one can separate them from God’s love. Their hope is in a God who loves them through everything in a way no one else can duplicate.
God is the strength of my heart. — Psalm 73:26
There is such hope for our children (and for all of us) in knowing that God is our strength and that we don’t have to hold ourselves up when times are tough.
With God’s help we will do mighty things. — Psalm 108:13
When our kids are worried about conquering a big challenge — a test or performance or tryout — or trying to follow a big call from God for their lives, they can place their hope in a God who promises to help them along the way! These mighty things aren’t for them to do alone!
Hope in the Lord is for people of all ages. Helping our children carry it with them from a young age is an important call on our lives as parents. Let’s spend a few minutes each day filling them with the Word of God and His eternal hope.
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How do you share hope with your children? What are some reasons it’s important to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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