How do we encourage our children to want to stay on the straight and narrow way? How do we nurture a love for heaven and all things spiritual in our little ones? One of the most effective ways is to simply talk to your children about heaven.
Let all that is beautiful in our earthly home remind us of the crystal river and green fields, the waving trees and the living fountains, the shining city and the white – robed singers, of our heavenly home – that world of beauty which no artist can picture and no mortal tongue describe. Let your imagination picture the home of the saved, and remember that it will be more glorious than your brightest imagination can portray. Hvn 133.3
Heaven will not disappoint!
One of our favourite family discussion topics is heaven! We love to chat about the subject and let our imaginations just carry us. I do this with no fear that I could ever be disappointed when I get there! I encourage you, whenever there is a spare moment in the day and things are quiet, to start asking your children about heaven and begin cultivating the beautiful idea of being in heaven together as a family. It’s a great conversation-starter. It’s also a great subject-changer. It always brings smiles to our faces!
I’d like to share with you a few of our heaven-conversation-starters. I love to ask my children questions that gets their imaginations going, yet at the same time I gently lead the conversation to stay on topic. Here are some of the things I ask my kids:
- What do you think the mansion God has prepared for you will look like? He knows you like frogs – do you think it will have an indoor frog pond? Will it have a waterslide from the window? What will you plant in your garden? Flowers, veggies, fruit trees? May I live with you? Who will be your neighbours? Queen Esther or Rebekah?
- Would you like to have a nice long chat with your angel? What kind of things would you chat about? That time when you fell off the ladder by your bunk bed and nearly got seriously injured? What about when we nearly ran out of fuel on Sabbath, but yet managed to get home safely from church? Do you remember when you couldn’t find your black plastic frog and then after looking everywhere, you prayed about it, and then after praying you thought to check under the coffee table … and there it was! Do you think your angel put it there? Are you going to ask about that?
- Where should our family meet up in heaven if we get separated here on earth? Under the Tree of Life? In the Tree of Life?
- What will you play on your harp? Will you play in the heavenly orchestra? Will you sing in the heavenly choir with the angels?
- What planets/galaxies would you like to visit? How about nature walks in heaven? What do you think we will see?
- How about the food and the banqueting table? The delicious fruit – oh so heavenly sweet!
- And the animals?! Will you have a pet? What animals will frequently visit your garden? What will you plant to attract them?
- I know you love story time, but can you imagine stories at Jesus feet?!! The master story teller and I’m sure He has an eternity of stories to share with us!
- Can you imagine never being sick or sad again?!
- What about your crown? How about being able to fly? Where would you go? Can you imagine no night there – no more sunrises or sunsets? Does that mean no more sleep or will we maybe still have an afternoon nap? What about Heaven’s library of records! What will you look up?
- I know I would love to see the garden of Eden being restored to Adam …
- What bible characters would you like to meet? What would you ask them? Would you like to live next door to one of them?
Heaven is for real – so make it real! Turn their hearts to long for a better place than this sin – sick world of selfish hearts, diseases, burdens and sorrows. Throughout the day, talk of heaven. This is not our home. Heaven is our home. Create a longing and an excitement!
We want to have our eyes turned away from the attractions of this earth and centered upon heaven and heavenly things. We do not want the earth to intervene between us and God, but we want an eye single to the glory of God. We talk of heaven and of its blessing, and it would be a great loss to lose it. Well then, if it so lovely, so desirable, bring it into this life, bring it into your families and educate your children not to live for this world but for the future, immortal life….TDG 271.3
I urge you to prepare for the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. Day by day cast the love of the world out of your hearts. Hvn 189.3
It’s not this world that we are living for! We are living for the future immortal life! By keeping our eyes and our hearts fixed on heaven, we are preparing for heaven.
You can have a little heaven here below, if you will only get your eye fixed upon God—not looking at Christ half the time and at the world the other half. When you live for God, He will put His everlasting arm beneath you, and then He says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). TDG 271.4
Heaven can begin now.
As we talk of Heaven, we begin to turn our hearts towards heaven. As we long for heaven, our interests and desires in this world lessen. The more time we spend abiding in Christ and thinking of spiritual matters, our thoughts and our feelings begin to change. Our characters begin to change. We become more Christ-like and before we even know it, we have a little bit of heaven going on in our hearts and all around us.
Christ came to earth and gave His life that we might have eternal salvation. He wants to encircle each of us with the atmosphere of heaven, that we may give to the world an example that will honor the religion of Christ. HP 113.6
If we would see heaven, we must have heaven below. We must have a heaven to go to heaven in. We must have heaven in our families, through Christ continually approaching unto God. Christ is the great center of attraction, and the child of God hid in Christ, meets with God, and is lost in the divine being. Hvn 171.5
Yes, heaven can begin right now, here on this earth, in our very own homes! If we are not living with heaven in our hearts and our homes, how can we expect to even see heaven above.
The sweetest type of heaven is a home where the Spirit of the Lord presides. If the will of God is fulfilled, the husband and wife will respect each other and cultivate love and confidence. AH 15.4
Can you imagine a home where family members only speak kindly to one another? Where everyone puts the other person first before themselves? Where joy continually fills our hearts and peace is the theme? This is something we don’t have to wait for! We can have it now, if we choose! Heaven on earth! Oh sweet bliss!
Parents, make your home a little heaven on earth. You can do this, if you so choose. You can make home so pleasant and cheerful that it will be the most attractive place on earth to your children. Let them receive all the blessings of the household. You can so relate yourselves to God that His Spirit will abide in your home. Come close to the bleeding side of the Man of Calvary. Those who are partakers with Him in His sufferings will at last be partakers with Him in His glory. 2SAT 200.5
Is there anything that you are longing to see or do in heaven? Any ideas on how to make heaven real for your children? Please share with us in the comments below. When I think of heaven, my heart cries out ‘O Lord Jesus, how long? How long?! Ere we shout the glad song, Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Amen!‘
For more inspiration and information about heavenly things, the book Heaven by Ellen White is a fascinating read! It will make you homesick for a home you haven’t been to — yet!
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