5 Best Ways to Cultivate Spiritual Growth in Your Child
Before you became a mom, you dreamed of leading your child to a personal relationship with the Lord. It’s been your vision to shepherd your child’s heart towards knowing and loving the Lord. Maybe you even imagined sharing your favorite quiet time tips as you lead your child towards a deep spiritual growth.
Fast forward a few years, and suddenly reality threatens to interrupt your greatest intentions.
Between cooking dinner, sports practice, and all of life’s other responsibilities, sometimes carving out time to spur on your child’s spiritual growth can fall by the wayside.
Or maybe, your desire to teach your child about the Lord, makes you realize how much you don’t know yourself and you’re left feeling like an impostor.
Yet shepherding your child’s heart towards spiritual growth is easier than you think….
Practical Ways to Cultivate the Spiritual Growth of Your Child
Make talking about the Lord an everyday, natural part of your home life
Chances are you spend more time in casual conversations with your kids about life, than giving formal “lessons”. (At least I sure hope so!) This should be the same with leading your child towards spiritual growth.
Make conversations about God an everyday and regular part of your family life. Weave chats about God and His promises into your talks about everything, including:
- the world around you (as you admire God’s handiwork in nature)
- your child’s relationships with friends and adults (relationships offer valid character growth in forgiveness, patience, gentleness, lovingness, etc…)
- following the rules of society (and the rules and laws that God gave us, too!)
- in correcting wrong behavior (it’s never too early to start teaching kids that they, too, are a sinner)
And this list is just the beginning! If you look carefully, you’ll discover natural ways to make talk about God an everyday part of your life.
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Pray about EVERYTHING together
Kids need to see that faith isn’t just something we do on Sunday, but that is the foundation for which we live our lives. A great way to naturally live that out at home is to pray about everything.
In our house, it’s not uncommon to stop and pray about tiny, seemingly insignificant things (including whether or not my son will see lightening bugs that night!) This lays the foundation that God is both our friend and Father. Plus, it helps kids understand that God cares about them, wants to hear their heart, and helps them get in the habit of prayer, even for small things.
Start a flexible and loose family Bible study routine (Breathe… it’s not as hard as you think)
Just like most things in my life, I WAY over-complicated our family Bible study time! The good news: getting started in family devotions is so much easier (and more fun than you think!)
In fact, starting a family Bible study is similar to the tips I share about spiritual growth for adults!
Best ways to get started in family Bible study:
Decide on a time, place, and regularity
When we first started doing family devotions, I was focused on doing them every day. When the dog started barking and the baby started crying, I realized I was setting myself up for failure. I came to realize that while we certainly do try to make a family quiet time a daily reality, there will be a couple of days a week where life gets in the way.
Like any solid habit or routine, you can easily feel defeated and give up once you slip up and miss a day. Instead, start with 3 days a week and grow from there.
Then, know the approximate time and place where you’ll make this a new spiritual growth habit a reality. When we first started, we gathered together on the couch. Then, we moved to the kitchen table to keep everyone’s attention.
Finally, schedule it on your family calendar and other than a major emergency, don’t let anything stand in your way. While you do need to be flexible, it’s also important to not let excuses stand in your way. (That’s so easy to happen!)
Decide what you study or read together
If you go into your family Bible study without having any idea of what you will study, the kids will lose attention in a heart beat. Consider starting at Creation and working your way through the Bible with the main biblical foundation truths your child needs to know.
As you go along, lay a foundation of faith for your children in the following key areas:
- God created the world
- man made a sinful choice and sin entered the world
- everyone falls short of God’s glory and needs a Savior
- Jesus was God’s Son
- He lived a pure and holy life
- Jesus died on the cross and His grace covered our sin
- by entering into a personal relationship with Jesus, He wipes our sins clean
- God loves His children and is coming back for them
- we have a job to spread the Good News of Jesus to everyone we know
Keep the age of your children in mind
As you begin your family Bible study routine, it’s important to keep the age and maturity of your children in mind. Parents of smaller kids will want to keep activities short and use vocabulary that’s on their level.
As kids mature and have longer attention spans, expand your time in the Word and change your approach to how you study.
Make family Bible study interesting and engaging
Bible study shouldn’t be boring for kids (or adults!) To cultivate a deep spiritual growth, make the Bible come alive for kids and show them just how powerful their God really is!!
Really, the Bible is full of jammed-packed action adventure stories where God shows up and rescues His people. When kids understand how the Bible is woven together as one big rescue mission for THEM, kids naturally get excited by all God did for them.
Consider using Bible activity cards to make Bible study FUN and help them remember what they learned. Some of the best family memories can be made doing a fun puppet show re-in acting their favorite Bible stories or creating a play about the passage they just read.
The more kids get hands-on in any activity, the more meaningful and memorable it becomes!
Help kids understand God’s love for them and their need for a Savior
One of the best things you can do for your child, is to help them understand and accept their own imperfection. Once children start seeing their own behavior and actions as sinful, the more they understand their need for the grace poured out for them at Calvary.
It’s not always easy for kids to accept their own imperfections, but once they do, they’ll start to grasp more and more how they need Jesus to save them.
You CAN guide your child to deep spiritual growth
Leading your child to deep spiritual growth isn’t hard or overwhelming! Instead, with natural conversation and regular time in God’s Word, you can have a front row seat to watch your child develop a personal relationship with the Lord!
But don’t wait! Start taking action on this today, even if it’s a far cry from where you want to be. Just show up to guide your child to a firm foundation of faith and pray that God will minister to your child, despite your own shortcomings.
And if you want to make Bible study fun for kids and simple for moms, grab our Family Bible Study Toolkit. It’s an easy way to make a regular family quiet time a reality, even as a beginner!