Children are the ultimate blessing. As parents, we each have a responsibility to raise our children to be the greatest versions of themselves.
The world today can be a difficult place. Raising your children in an environment where you openly share your faith helps build a strong foundation for years to come. Building a relationship with God early in a child’s life can have lasting positive impacts.
When children are two years old, they enter the “preoperational stage” of cognitive development, which lasts until they are about seven years old. During this stage of development, children grow in their language and thinking. Play, especially pretend play, becomes a big part of how they learn.
Parents should share their faith with their children as early as possible. Sharing your faith is one of the best things you can do to prepare and protect kids for the future. Studies show that kids raised believing in God have better mental health and less risk of mental disorders and substance abuse as teenagers.
If we tell our kids stories about Peter Pan or Cinderella, it is only right we also tell our kids the stories that are important to our faith. Sharing these faith stories can teach them essential life lessons, create a moral compass, and show them how to treat others.
Ways to Share Your Faith With Your Kids
Share your faith by reading your favorite Bible stories with your child.
Sharing your faith with your toddler starts at home. One way to get started is to read your favorite Bible stories together. You can buy a children’s Bible with the stories broken down for young kids. The language and storytelling are geared towards young children and are appropriate for their developmental level. Reread their favorite stories and reference the characters and stories in everyday life.
You can take it one step further and act the stories out or play games inspired by the stories you read. Children in this developmental stage love to play. For example, you can play David and Goliath, Noah’s Ark, Jonah, and the Whale, or reenact stories of Jesus’s life.
Pray with your child.
This one is two-fold. Prayer is powerful.
The first thing to do is to pray for your child. Pray for their relationship, their health, safety, and anything else in your heart. You can also pray that God gives you the wisdom and guidance to share his love and stories with your toddler. When you regularly pray, you model a strong relationship with God.
The second part is to pray with your child. It can be as simple as, “Thank you, Jesus.” You can pray before meals, at bedtime, in the morning, etc.
As your toddler grows, ask them who they want to pray for, and include them in your prayer together. As they continue to grow, allow them to be the ones to say the prayer.
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Sing songs of faith with your child.
Toddlers love songs. Singing songs of praise with your child is a great way to build their faith. You can sing songs while you get ready for the day, in the car, before bedtime, etc. You can incorporate music into almost any part of your day!
A few of my favorite songs are “Jesus Loves Me,” “My God Is So Big,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “The Fruits of the Spirit.” You can find some great playlists and channels online to use, or even create your own with all of your favorite songs! You can add new music once in a while to mix it up!
Share your faith through faith-related kids’ activities.
Let your child join faith-related kids’ activities. Examples are Sunday School, Children’s Messages, or Vacation Bible School. Let them join Bible studies or youth groups once they are older. Surround yourself, your child, and your family with others who share your faith.
Another great way to share your faith is through service. Throughout the Bible, we see Jesus continually serving others around him. Showing your children a servant’s heart is one of the best ways to share the love of Jesus. Serving doesn’t always have to be some huge event (it definitely could be, though!). You can bring your kids along to events you are signed up to help with.
Another great way to serve together is by completing small acts of kindness with your kids. It can be as simple as buying donuts, pizza, or snacks for the local police department, choosing toys to donate, helping a neighbor rake leaves, or buying a stranger’s dinner or groceries! Get creative!
It doesn’t always have to be a grand gesture. The most important aspect is your kids seeing you serving and helping those around you.
Live by example.
Living by example is mentioned in the previous paragraphs, but it deserves its own because it is the most important. Kids learn most by watching what we DO, and NOT mainly by hearing what we say.
We must live by example. Kids are like sponges and are always learning and watching. Kids learn best by example. If they see us acting kind towards others, serving those around us, praying, and living out our faith, they will know to do the same.
Some people question if sharing your faith with your toddler is judgemental and teaches them intolerance. If we are living out our faith by example, children will not learn intolerance.
Actually, it is the complete opposite! Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves and is continuously serving others. He ate with tax collectors and healed lepers. Jesus was welcoming to every person He encountered. Jesus teaches us to love people regardless of their background.
Sharing Your Faith for A Strong Foundation
Sharing your faith with your kids is one of the best things you can do. By openly sharing your faith, you are sharing what everlasting love and sacrifice look like. Your children will start to build a strong foundation that will grow as they get older. God wants a relationship with us. Building a relationship with God will lay a solid foundation your child can build upon as they grow older.