Helping your child discover a relationship with Jesus
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
While my own five daughters are now grown (allegedly), watching kids get to know and follow Jesus is a passion for me. Do I think I did a perfect job with my children? No. Could I have done much, much better? Absolutely.
However, now that I have brilliant, beautiful, and spunky grandchildren (this is a fact…I’m not biased at all ;), I have been thinking a lot about how to help them come to love and KNOW Jesus. So, how can I do that? Here are just a few suggestions to make Jesus spring to life for children.
Live out your faith
Faith is never easy. It’s really, really hard! What is faith, you may ask. Faith is defined as a belief with a strong conviction. It is belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof. It takes complete trust, reliance, and devotion and is the opposite of doubt.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines faith as “unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence; unquestioning belief in God.”
For children, and let’s admit it, adults too, believing without physically “seeing” is a difficult task. So, demonstrate it. Let kids see your genuine faith. Is real faith always pretty? Of course not. It is messy. Faith tests you. You worry when your loved ones or friends are sick or in pain. Where is God? Genuine faith feels guilty when you lose your temper with children or others. Don’t succumb to the pressure to be “perfect.” That is not of God. Be honest about your struggles and questions. Kids sniff out the truth. They are the ultimate “truth test.”
Are you exhausted? Frustrated? Worried? Tell your children about it — not to scare, burden, or stress them, but to show them that even you as an adult and parent are dependent on God’s strength and grace.
Ways to help your children grow their faith
1. Pray with them. Allow them to express themselves to God, talking to him as the Father and ultimate Friend.
2. Find a good children’s Bible. The Adventure Bible is a good, quality one, with discussion questions and real-life situations. God’s word is the basis of our faith and the source of all truth. He is the light in our darkness and hope to a chaotic world.
3. Play and spend time with them. Show your children that you genuinely care and are interested in them. If they are Lego fanatics, play Legos with them. If they are interested in gardening, buy some good garden clogs and prepare to get muddy. By building a positive, caring relationship with your child, you can lead them into a positive, loving relationship with Christ.
4. Apologize when you are wrong. This is truly powerful. I am truly awful at apologizing, especially as a child and young adult. I am improving…slowly. By humbling ourselves by apologizing, we demonstrate that forgiveness is crucial for our lives as believers.
5. Provide your young pre-readers and readers with quality Christ-centered books, movies, and music. This is not to say that secular movies, books, or music is all bad. However, having Christian, character-nurturing materials readily available is so beneficial to building young faith.
6. Talk about Jesus often. Weave Him into discussions. Tell them you love them, and He does too. When kids have difficulties with friendships or the stresses of everyday school life, bring Jesus into the conversation, where He belongs.
There are many other ways to help children grow faith — joining a Jesus loving church with a solid and vibrant children’s ministry, serving others — volunteering, working in a soup kitchen, doing errands or chores for the elderly; there are so many opportunities to “live out Jesus.” It just takes the first step to help your young one learn to live with a “bigger purpose” for God.