How do you teach a child to treasure Jesus? Left unattended to and otherwise undirected, children will catch the treasuring tendencies of those around them (family, friends etc.).
Is it possible to help direct the affections of your child's heart?
It is absolutely possible to direct the treasuring language that comes only from lips while heart affections long after whatever brings most pleasure. It's very easy to teach a child to mimic language. But as we know language alone is not evidence of a love for God.
So it seems our children may be most affected in the direction of their treasuring by seeing the hearts of their family and friends caught ablaze with true affections (and not merely verbal) for God. Children should be brought into experiences of delighting in God with their parents especially and hopefully other family and friends also.
I've shared this illustration at the jail and found it to be effective in relaying a powerful truth.
My daughter's loves her little pets (plastic toys). She takes them everywhere with her, to church, to the store, to grandma's house. Her daddy loves her and enjoys providing financially for her collection of these toys. Her daddy also gladly provides for her housing, food, and clothing. As daddies do, her daddy also protects her and teaches her and smothers her with affection. Wouldn't it be foolish for her to treasure more her little pets than her daddy?
In the same way wouldn't it be foolish for us to treasure more, enjoy more, and delight in more in the little pets (enjoyable things) of this world than our Heavenly Father? Wouldn't it be foolish of us to treasure more our homes, vehicles, toys, health, insurance benefits, retirement plans, family and friends more than God?
Of course the answer is yes this would be very foolish. Yet we desperately need to consider this more than just in passing. It is after all very easy to say with our mouths that we treasure God while the proof of our lives is showing that we are in fact treasuring everything else.
May our children find us truly treasuring Him who is most valuable. May they be caught up into our being caught up into "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2 Cor. 4:6)