There are no recipes or formulas for raising kids who love and follow the Lord. But there are things we can do to intentionally equip them to make that decision. If that’s a priority in your parenting, here are 5 powerful ways to nurture your kids’ faith!
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Recently asked by a fellow mom to sit down for a coffee chat about how to nurture kids’ faith, I was thrilled about this opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences. Not because I think I’m any kind of an expert on the topic (hi, my kids are little, and their faith hasn’t even been tested yet), but because it’s something I’m deeply passionate about.
From the day we became parents, raising kids to love and serve the Lord was a priority. But the day I read Judges 2 with “parent eyes” changed me.
Verses 7, 8, and 10 chronicle the shocking disintegration of faith that can happen in the span of a single generation. In these verses we see the stark difference between the generation that grew up under Joshua, crossed the Jordan River on dry ground, saw the walls of Jericho crumble around them, and won victory after victory as the indisputable underdog… and the very next generation that “knew neither the Lord nor what He had done for Israel.”
Reading that lit a fire under me to intentionally teach my children about God, build a foundation of faith in their lives, and encourage them to cultivate their own relationship with the Lord. Not ours, not their peers’, not their pastors’, but theirs.
Of course, there are no guarantees. There’s not a recipe or formula for raising kids who will follow the Lord, mostly because they are their own free beings with their own free wills.
That is a decision they will have to make for themselves, and we can’t do that part for them. But we can do our part in intentionally and purposefully equipping them.
5 Ways to Nurture Your Kids’ Faith
If that’s a priority and passion in your parenting, here are 5 ways to nurture your kids’ faith:
Kids are born hypocrisy-sniffers. They can detect it a mile away. So, if you’re wanting to raise kids who love the Lord, know His Word, and follow the leading of His Spirit, you’d better be displaying that in your own life.
If you want them to have a fire and fervor for God, you’d better be fanning your own flame. If you want them to live by faith, they’d better be able to see examples of that in your life.
That’s not to say you have to be perfect; that’s not possible! But if you want to nurture your kids’ faith, the first place to start is by developing your own.
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Incorporate faith discussions into everyday life
“Faith talk” shouldn’t be relegated to Sunday School or morning devotions. It shouldn’t be confined to sacred times or special moments. Instead, bring God into the entirety of your everyday life!
Make observations about the beauty of God’s creation, how He has provided for you, and His answers to prayers. Show them Scriptures that relate to everyday situations or issues they’re facing. Pray throughout your day. And remind them daily that God has a plan for their lives.
Don’t shy away from hard discussions
Inevitably, your kids will start asking tough or uncomfortable questions. Stay calm and face them head-on.
Of course, you’ll want to keep your answers appropriate for their maturity and ability to understand, but don’t avoid the hard stuff or eventually, they’ll stop coming to you with it.
Wrestling with faith is the only way they will truly internalize it and make it their own, and I’d much rather my kids do it with me to guide them than on their own with only the world to provide its own version of answers.
Admit when you don’t know
As you engage in those hard discussions, however, freely and humbly admit when you don’t know what to say. It’s okay not to have all the answers. None of us this side of Heaven does!
Whatever you do, do NOT make up stuff just to sound knowledgeable or ward off your kids’ questioning. Don’t pretend to know when you don’t. They will spot your baloney — if not now then at some point in the future. And when they do, it will undermine everything you’ve taught them.
Make it a joy, not a burden
Finally, show them that following the Lord is a joy, not a burden. As you train them to develop spiritual disciplines (and please do!), do it in a way that shows the blessings and protection offered by living life within God’s design. This doesn’t mean it will always be easy or fun, but it will produce abundant life.
SHARE WITH US: Those are some of the best tips I’ve picked up, but I want to hear from YOU! What advice do you have for parents who want to nurture their kids’ faith? Share it in the comments below!
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Share your thoughts!