Netflix and Quiet Time
Pastor Ryan Lutz
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6, NKJV
My wife and I have always strived to model a lifestyle of prayer for our children. We don’t do anything fancy like pray in tongues for hours on end at home or make our children memorize prayers. My son is 4 years old and my daughter is 6, those things just wouldn’t work for our kids. We like to keep it simple. Praying at mealtimes to thank God for our food, praying before bed time to ask God to give us a good night’s rest or praying for a family member when they are ill are some ways we’ve modeled a lifestyle of prayer with our young children.
It’s been really great to see that praying has become such a part of their lives. At meal times they’ve “self managed” whose turn it is to pray. My son, RJ, will thank God for everything from the food to his sister to the Ninja Turtles. We may chuckle, but I love how genuinely thankful he is for the Ninja Turtles that he makes sure he tells God.
When 21 Days came around we asked our kids if there was something they would like to fast so they could spend more time with God. TV was their number one choice. We thought it may cause problems because as most parents know TV can become a real struggle with young kids that want to watch Doc McStuffins for hours on Netflix. But it’s actually been amazing. Our kids have been watching less TV and spending more time doing other things that are probably much better for them anyway.
A few days ago my daughter, Felicia, wanted to spend some quiet time in prayer alone. She was in her room and I could hear her singing and worshiping God. We never made her do it, she wanted to! After a while she came out of her room so excited that she was running and jumping through the halls. I hadn’t seen her this excited since Christmas. “Dad! Dad! I heard God!” Felicia told me. I asked her what He said. “He said ‘Thank you for your song’ to me!”
My wife and I were very excited and proud to see that Felicia was taking her own relationship with God so seriously and passionately at a young age. If you’ve got young children, let me tell you from firsthand experience, there is no way make your kids love God, there is no way to force them to want to pray. Doing simple things at home that create a lifestyle of prayer have just been a part of who we are and we’re so thrilled to see our children grasping God’s goodness.