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Teaching Youth The Spiritual Discipline of Examen
Thursday, January 14, 2021 by Lyvita Brooks

Is there a way to teach our children to practice finding God in their daily lives? I’m not a mom, but a grandmother, aunt, godmother, and educator. Children have been in my life and always around, forever, except for now. Covid-happened. And yet, that is not the end-of-or-be-it-all.

I have two thoughts on how to teach spiritual disciplines to your child(ren).

  1. To begin, there’s this game called Punch Buggy. Every time you see a Volkswagen or an object you both agree on, you are to punch the other person on their arm. Sometimes it turns into a fight. So I’m changing it up a bit.  
  1. Last, there is the game I played as a child, called “I Spy”. This is when you see something and you describe it, hoping that someone will figure it out. Then you switch. 

Let’s begin with the practice of teaching children to find God in their daily lives using the spiritual discipline of Examen. Nope, I didn’t misspell it. Examen is the opportunity to notice where God is showing up in every moment or aspect of your daily life. Check out the episode of Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast for practice, more information and it’s history.

Examen is reflecting on a moment, time, day, year, meeting, conversation, etc. in your life, asking God to open your eyes to see your day (time, moment, conversation, meeting, etc.) as He might see it.”

So how do we ignite a passion for this in our children’s lives? First through play. Then, through repetition and prayer.

That brings me to Punch Buggy and “I Spy”. While drying in the car, ask your children to salute or say “God is good!” every time you make a right turn. Or play “I Spy” while preparing for bedtime, your child(ren) shares where God showed up in their life today. Be Creative! Allow your children to come up with ideas. The focus and goal is to teach your child (ren), teenager (s), and youth that God is with them always, even when it doesn’t seem like it. 

Lastly, have them pray about what they just learned in the game about themselves and God. 

This can be a great time for bonding, confession and teaching about the God you and your child(ren) love. 

Let me know how it went in the comments section below. This way we can help others grow in teaching our young.

Shalom! 

(Follow me on Instagram @hangingoutwithjesuspodcast, Goodreads.com and Hanging Out With Jesus Podcast (YouTube). Subscribe to the blog for biweekly updates on the spiritual disciplines and updates.)


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