Today’s blog is from a long-time Tyndale Children’s Author, Crystal Bowman. We asked her to write about the importance of giving kids a strong faith foundation (and how to do it!). Crystal is the perfect person to speak to this subject. She and her grown daughter recently wrote a great book together My Mama and Me: Rhyming Devotions for You and Your Child. Crystal is also the author of My Grandma and Me and One Year Devotions for Preschoolers. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to learn how you can win a free copy of Crystal’s books!
A Solid Foundation
When I was teaching in a Christian preschool, a mother of a four-year-old boy asked me when she should talk to her son about God. The question surprised me, and since I was recently married with no children, I couldn’t speak from experience. I don’t remember exactly what I told her, but I know I assured her that her son was ready to learn about God. Now that I am a mother and grandmother, the answer would roll off my tongue: You begin teaching your children about God from the day they are born.
The greatest thing parents can do for their children is to give them a solid biblical foundation by teaching them about God from the time they are babies to the time they leave home—and beyond. I was raised in a Christian home with daily biblical training and followed in the footsteps of my parents while raising my own three children. With our society becoming increasingly secular, the home is the primary place for children to learn about God, to grow in their understanding of biblical truths, and to develop a love for God that will last.
A Daily Investment
It begins in the rocking chair—singing Jesus Loves Me while feeding your precious baby girl bundled in pink, or praying over your infant son as you tuck him into his baby blue swaddle. It continues with board books and picture books about God, Jesus, and the Bible. As babies grow into toddlers, outdoor walks give many opportunities to talk about nature and our Creator—the sun in God’s big sky, the pretty flowers He makes, and the birds that chirp His praises.
Time spent in the car running errands can include praise songs for little ones to listen to. Mealtime prayers and bedtime stories are other opportunities for children to learn about God throughout the day. The key to teaching your little ones about God is to be consistent and to incorporate prayer, Bible stories, and devotions into their daily routines. Children thrive on routine, and once you establish a regular time, your children will not let you skip no matter how tired you may be!
Reading with your children is one of the precious gifts of parenthood, and sharing your faith is the most important gift you can give your children. Making time for bedtime Bible stories or mealtime devotions is a great way to teach children about God and encourage meaningful discussions.
When choosing a devotional book for young children, be sure it’s kid-friendly and age-appropriate. A good children’s devotional will include short messages with a Bible verse and prayer. Activities or questions can reinforce the lesson and add to a child’s understanding.
The Importance of Prayer
Pray with your children often throughout the day. Thank God for your food, for sunshine and rain, for friends and family, and a warm bed to sleep in. Praying for specific things helps your child to recognize God’s daily blessings and provision. It helps your children be more aware of God’s presence in their daily lives. Young children need security, and nothing is more secure than knowing they have a loving Father who watches over them day and night. Teach your children that they can talk to God just like they can talk to you.
As we teach and train our children, we pray that they will share our faith and stay strong in the Lord when they become adults. But our job is not finished when our children grow up. When grandchildren arrive, we get to do it all over again! Whether your grandchildren are nearby or far away, grandparents can invest in the spiritual development of their little ones. Here’s how:
- Pray for them every day
- Give them devotional books or Bible story books and read to them while they are on your lap or over a video chat
- Teach them Christian songs and Bible verses
- Talk about God when you are with them
- Send them kid-friendly Christian cards in the mail
- Tell them that God loves them very much
No Greater Joy
One of my mom’s favorite Bible verses is 3 John 1:4 — I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. Now that I am a mother and grandmother, that has become one of my favorite verses as well. My husband and I have raised three amazing children who are all walking with the Lord. As I invest in the spiritual development of my grandchildren, I pray that someday my children will claim that verse as one of their favorites.
We’re giving away one copy each of Crystal’s children’s books:
One Year Devotions for Preschoolers
To enter fill out entry form below. We’ll choose 3 random winners on January 30th.