After watching Zootopia more times than I care to disclose, I realized my kids had a warped view of meditation. They would re-enact one of the scenes where a hilarious hippy creature chants “OM” and then it hit me: I better get proactive about teaching them how to meditate God’s way before they think “OM” is the truth!
Why meditate? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says it this way:
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
I want that! For all of us!
So let’s take the mystery out of it, OK?
To Meditate simply means to attend to, to practice, to ponder and imagine.
So the way I do this with our kids is:
1. We pick a verse, any verse. Easy, right?
“A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1″
2. We repeat it whole several times to get a feel for it. My 3 & 6 year-old enjoy some hand motions. If they’re older, have them copy it into a prayer journal. Make it fun but simple!
3. We take a word at a time and define it in our own terms.
Courage (my 3 year-old), repeat after me: A soft answer (pause) turns away wrath (pause).
Q. What does “soft” mean, Courage?
A: “Soft is like… hmmm… like a stuffy! Soft and cuddly”
Courage, wrath is like an angry face with a bad attitude… show me a “wrath face”.
Q: Caleb (my 7 year-old), can you think of somewhere else you’ve heard the word “harsh?”
A: Pause… nope, nothing.
Q: Maybe like a “Harsh winter?”
A: (Light bulb comes on) Oh yeah! Like getting snowed in, or having all your animals die on the farm… or things falling apart because of the harsh cold.
Q: Is that constructive or destructive?
Q: Imagine one word can be like that!
Q. Savanna, (9 year-old), how could you stir up a hornet’s nest?
A: By shooting my arrow through it!
Q: What would happen?
A: I better ruuuuuuuun!
You get the picture. You help them (and yourself) take one beautiful word at a time and hold it up to the light and compare it to others. Define it. Play with it a bit. Enjoy the insight.
And last but not least:
4. Practice it. I’ll bring up actual situations that have happened in the last few hours or so and play it with both scenarios. I may even have them act it out.
The beautiful thing about doing this with your family is that you get so much out of it! My new aha! moment when we did this verse is this:
When I “soft answer” somebody who is about to get upset, it will turn away their wrath. But, (I LOVE THIS!) when I answer softly because I’m on the brink of madder-than-a-hornet, I turn away my OWN wrath! WOW! So, my harsh words only stir up my anger further! That is the complete opposite of what I thought… I thought I was supposed to vent! Ha! Oh well, there went that!
On that note, some of my favorite books for taking great verses and helping us meditate are Crossroads of Character for littles (2-8) and the Character Trails for the older kids (6-12) . These are affiliate links, if you purchase them by clicking here, you will be supporting our work at no extra cost to you!
Meditation is not a huge lesson to tackle. Start small and keep it simple. You will be teaching your children a life-long skill that will be for the Glory of our Creator and give them a tool for success!