Do you want to teach your child about God but don’t know where to start? The idea of teaching our kids about a God we struggle to understand can feel overwhelming.
However, we can trust God to help us and guide us. Let’s talk about this challenge together today.
How to Teach Your Child About God
“Mom, what do you think Jesus is doin’ right now?” my three-year-old asks as I push his stroller down our quiet country road.
“Well, I think he’s seated on his throne in heaven with God,” I respond thoughtfully.
“But I thought you said he’s always with me. How can he be in two places at the same time?” he ponders out loud.
“Well, Jesus is omnipresent. That means he can be everywhere at the same time,” I explain
“That’s not possible. Quit lying to me, Mom,” he remarks. He then proceeds to ask me a question about squirrels.
I’m sure I’ve just missed an opportunity to teach my child about the character of God.
If you’re anything like me, you want to teach your child about God, but you sometimes find yourself at a loss for words.
I’ve been trying to teach our little ones about the Lord for twelve years now. As I reflect on the journey, three specific insights stand out as concrete ways to teach your child about God.
Let’s talk about these insights today.
3 Ways to Teach Your Child About God
#1 Model a lifestyle of prayer.
What’s the first thing you do when you feel a headache coming on? How do you respond when your car gets a flat tire on the Interstate? What do you do when you realize you left your purse in the cart at the grocery store?
Let me be real.
All too often, I reach for the medicine cabinet instead of praying when my head starts hurting.
I search for my phone and call for help before offering prayer when my vehicle gets a flat tire.
I hop in the car and rush back to the store when I realize I left my purse in a shopping cart.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these actions. They’re necessary actions.
However, imagine how different our lives would be if we learned to pray first in these moments.
Imagine asking God to heal your headache before you pop the ibuprofen. Imagine asking for God’s help before you call the tow truck. What might happen if you prayed before fleeing to retrieve your missing purse?
We teach our kids about God when we model a lifestyle of praying first.
When life falls apart, we pray.
When God’s gifts abound, we pray.
We pray before leaving the house every morning, pray throughout the day, and pray before bed at night.
This kind of prayer teaches our kids that God is a loving Father who wants us to run to him first. We don’t need any deep theological background to help our kids understand God’s provision and love.
We need to show them that God is always listening.
#2 Spend time in God’s Word together.
A few months after our first child was born, I remember pulling out a children’s Bible and attempting to teach her about Jesus.
Instead of enjoying my lesson, she repeatedly pulled the little Bible to her face and forcefully shoved it into her mouth.
After five minutes of wrestling the soggy Bible out of her little hands, I thought, “This is harder than I expected.”
Throughout the twelve years since that incident, spending time in God’s Word with our three kids is often harder than I expect. They have trouble paying attention. They argue about who is going to sit in the best spot and who gets to pick the story.
Often, I end up snapping at them instead of embracing teachable moments. It’s hard.
Spending time in the Bible with your kids probably won’t always be easy for you either. At times, they will complain. They will poke at each other, interrupt you, and ask unrelated questions.
Today I encourage you not to give up. Keep opening the Word. Try different formats.
Buy a colorful picture Bible for your little ones, or invest in a trendy teen Bible for your older children.
Hang framed verses on your walls. Write a verse on a sheet of computer paper, hang it on the fridge, and memorize it as a family. Memorize a new verse every week.
There are many ways to spend time in God’s Word together. You don’t have to do this perfectly. Give it your best effort, and God’s Word will not return empty!
#3 Teach your child about God by sharing your passions.
Where do you feel closest to God? Do you sense his presence when you hike in the woods or walk in the community park? Do you sense his nearness when you paint, write, draw, knit, ski, jog, or enjoy your favorite hobby? Maybe you feel closest to God when you serve at the local food bank or volunteer in the nursery at church.
Teach your child about God by sharing your God-given passions, hobbies, talents, and interests with your child. Take your child hiking and talk about the glory of God’s created world.
Invite your child to paint or draw with you and talk about God’s creativity.
Ask your child to join you at the foodbank and talk about God’s heart for serving others.
By inviting your child into your interests and passions, you naturally model the ways God works in our lives and uses us to fulfill his purposes.
Use these situations to teach your child about cultivating talents and passions for the glory of God.
I’ve been inviting my daughter Bekah into my passion for writing for years. When she was younger, we often wrote fictitious stories together, and she added illustrations.
Last year, as an eleven-year-old, Bekah made a surprising request. She asked me to write a mother-daughter devotional book with her!
Honestly, I didn’t expect the idea to make it off the ground.
Eight months and 258 pages later, we finished our mother-daughter devotional book. This experience has provided hundreds of opportunities for me to teach Bekah about God and help her grow in her faith.
You don’t have to write a book with your child to help your child grow in faith; however, let me warn you—you might be surprised by the outcome when you seriously commit to teaching your child about God!
Let Our Book Help You Teach Your Child About God
Reading a devotional book with your child can help develop a deeper faith. Our mother-daughter devotional is written specifically for girls ages 10-15, but you can adapt it to use with children of any age!
Our book is called Girl to Girl: 60 Mother-Daughter Devotions for a Closer Relationship and Deeper Faith. Check it out right here!
I hope this has been helpful on how to teach your child about God.
Stacey Pardoe writes weekly at staceypardoe.com. Stacey and her
12-year-old daughter Bekah recently published a one-of-a-kind mother-daughter devotional together
called Girl to Girl: 60 Devotions for a Closer Relationship and Deeper Faith.
This post was originally published on ButterflyLiving.org.