5 Ways to Connect with Your Child Spiritually

Photo ©Faith Ganchua, 2018, A Radiant Face

My son is only a year old, but ever since I found out I was pregnant with him, I knew I wanted to be intentional about communicating the Gospel to him. More than anything else, my desire for him (and his coming-soon little brother) is that he come to know, love and follow Jesus his whole life long. That is the hope I speak over him every night as I place him in his crib, after reading, after singing, after turning out the light. That is the mission of my motherhood.

Because I know this is the heartbeat of every Christ-following mother, I want to share five ways I have connected with my son spiritually to begin writing these truths on his heart. I don't share these because I think they're the best ways or the only ways, and certainly not because I have been perfectly faithful in practicing them. Instead, I want to offer some simple suggestions in case you feel at a loss for how to share the Gospel with your children. Perhaps these ideas will springboard some of your own rhythms of faith in your home.

Also, keep in mind that I have a little toddler who can barely say five words, so I don't have any solid means of measuring what he's absorbing from my efforts. Your kids might be older, but I think several of these points can apply to them, as well as to babies and toddlers.

Here they are, in no particular order:

One - Talk to them about Jesus and God's truth and the Gospel whenever it comes up.

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My son may have no idea what I'm saying, but I speak what's on my heart, and I believe the Holy Spirit can translate for me. Sometimes I try to slow down and make eye contact, but often I just talk as we're going about our business - eating breakfast, walking outside, driving in the car. These moments come up as I am awestruck by the beauty of God's creation while we're exploring the backyard, and I'll begin talking about some attribute of God that the sky or the wind or the flowers remind me of.

If I'm reading my Bible or a Christian non-fiction book in the living room while he minds his own business playing on the floor, I might suddenly look up and say, "Buddy, this is so amazing!" and launch into an explanation of what I just read and how it informs the way I view God.

Another way to really drive home the point of why we need Jesus is to take moments of our own sin and be quick to humble ourselves before the Lord and our children. We can use these times of personal weakness to remind our kids that we all fall short of God's glory, and that is why Jesus needed to die and why we need the Holy Spirit in our hearts to help us do what God wants.

While he was still in my womb, I shared the Gospel with him, as well. It felt a bit awkward to be explaining the ABCs of Salvation to someone I couldn't see, but the Bible tells us that the Lord teaches wisdom to babies even before they're born (Psalm 51:6), so I figured I could begin sharing truth with him even then.

Two - Play Scripture and worship songs frequently throughout the day.

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Almost every morning while I'm making and eating breakfast with my son, I play the "Kid's Worship" station on Pandora from my phone. I've refined it so it plays a lot of classic Sunday School songs, Scripture songs and a bit of Veggie Tales. I love to begin our day on that joyful, centering note.

When my son was littler, his favorite calming music to fall asleep to was Matt and Josie Minikus' Hymns, Psalms and Lullabies album. It is absolutely beautiful music and includes several lyrics directly from Scripture.

Three - Read the Bible together.

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My son used to sit in my lap for an entire Jesus Storybook Bible chapter, but that happens less and less frequently these days. Now I usually end up reading something from a children's Bible storybook, a Psalm or a passage from the Gospels out loud as he's roaming around the living room.

At first I was concerned that he wouldn't absorb much this way, but after hearing some advice from more experienced mothers, podcasts, etc. I realized that busy toddlers and active little boys, specifically, actually learn better while they're moving. It may not seem like he's paying attention, but I know the Word of God does not return void, so I will continue to speak it out loud in his hearing.

Four - Sing hymns and Scripture songs to them before bed.

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For the longest time, I would sing the same three songs to my son as part of his bedtime routine - the hymn, Just as I Am, some version of the Aaronic blessing (The Lord bless you and keep you...) and the chorus of Twila Paris' lullaby, "I pray that you will follow Him your whole life long." I change up the hymns more now for variety, but I still see Just as I Am as his special hymn.

I love so many modern worship songs, and my millennial heart resonates with them and enjoys listening to them throughout the day. However, there is something so rich and precious about older hymns that I want to pass on to my children. I'm so thankful for the time I spent at a church that sang only hymns every week because, while I no longer think that's the "right" or "only" way to worship God in spirit and truth, I learned so many hymns by memory. As I sing these hymns over my son now, I am blessed by the rich theology contained in them that is difficult to communicate in such a succinct and profound way with our modern language.

Five - Pray together.

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This is one area in particular I would like to grow in, but I think praying together with kids is beneficial no matter what age they are. Of course we can pray over our children, and we should, but there is something special about praying together for things on our hearts in addition to the needs of others. My son is still too young to understand closing his eyes and being still while we pray, but if he's sleepy enough at bedtime, I have a captive prayer companion as I rock him. I will begin thanking God for the day and praying for our concerns in first person plural, as if he's praying right along with me.

I want to demonstrate to my children that prayer is a normal part of my life individually and of our lives together as a family. I believe the more frequent and natural these practices are in our daily rhythm, the more they will begin to adopt those things as they become independent.

These are the five main things I do as the mommy of a (currently) 16-month-old boy and his little brother in utero. I hope they are an encouragement and a springboard for you as you seek to impress God's truth on your little ones' hearts. Remember that God is with us as we share the Gospel with our children. He desires their hearts to come to salvation even more than we do!

I would love to hear which of these practices you are currently implementing or would like to implement in your home. And if you have any other ideas for how to connect with kids spiritually, please share them in the comments for the rest of us to learn!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.

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