Mother’s Day is coming soon, and it’s a time to honor mothers for the endless hours they pour into raising their children. It’s a day of gifts and cards and flowers—all meant to honor and appreciate Mom. Moms certainly deserve a day of being honored for what they do. But most moms prefer to be “givers.” As we raise and nurture our children, we want to give them our best. Teaching your children about God by sharing your faith is the most important gift you can give your children. But not all moms feel equipped to do this.
When I was newly-married with no kids of my own, teaching at a Christian preschool, a mother asked, “When should I start teaching my son about God?” Her question caught me off guard. I could tell this was a topic she was not comfortable with and I wasn’t sure what to say. After thinking a moment, I assured her that young children can learn about God as long as what we teach them is appropriate for their age.
I am now a mother of three married kids, and a grandmother to five little ones. I am also a mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and I still get asked that question. I am now better prepared to give an answer.
- The Rocking Chair – From the time you bring your baby home from the hospital you can bring your child into an awareness of God’s presence. You can begin to build a foundation of faith by singing “Jesus Loves Me” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” while you soothe and feed your infant in the rocking chair.
- The Toddler Years – Little ones love board books and picture books and lap time with Mommy. Use these years to introduce your children to familiar Bible stories like the Creation, Noah’s Ark, and Baby Jesus. This is also a good time to teach your children to say their prayers at mealtime and bedtime.
- The Preschool Years – These are the inquisitive years when children love to explore their ever-expanding world. They are in awe of God’s created things as they listen to singing birds and watch grasshoppers jumping in the grass. This is the time when you can teach your children that everything was made by God, our Creator. They will also sit still a little longer for Bible stories and preschool devotional books.
- Establish Routines – Children thrive on routine, and once you’ve established a routine of having devotions with them, they will not let you skip. Mealtime, naptime, or bedtime are natural times to include reading Bible stories or devotional books, and praying with them.
- Good Resources – If you feel insecure about teaching your children about God, you are not alone! The good news is that there are plenty of great resources available for you to use. When you read Bible stories to your children or use a book of kid-friendly devotion, you can learn right along with your children.
My Mama and Me – I have had the joy of co-authoring several picture books with my daughter, Teri McKinley. The first book we co-authored is My Mama and Me – Rhyming Devotions for You and Your Child. With endearing illustrations by Phyllis Harris, the short, rhyming devotions address many important topics and age-appropriate biblical truths. The book uses a question and answer format which allows you to have faith-based conversations with your child. The book focuses on four main themes: Who is God? Who is Jesus? What Does God think of Me? And How Can I Show God I Love Him? Short Bible verses, prayers, and fun activities are also included on the pages. This interactive, mother-child book will provide hours of quality time with you and your child. As you read and share, you will grow closer to God, and grow closer to your child.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and grandmothers out there, as well as anyone who takes care of God’s precious children. May you be blessed as you train up children in the love and fear of the Lord.
Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher, author, and speaker. She graduated from Calvin College with a degree in elementary education and studied early childhood development at the University of Michigan.
Her writing career began in 1990 as a lyricist for children’s piano music. She began writing children’s books in 1993 and has since written more than 70 books for children and 3 for women. She has written books for many popular children’s series, such as Little Blessings, BOZ the Bear, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and I Can Read! She has also written books of humorous poetry for children, three books for women, numerous magazine articles, Bible study materials, and educational resource books.