Today I am excited to introduce Anne from One Determined Life. She is here sharing her insight on a common question Christian parents ask: how do I teach my kids to love God?
My biggest wish is for all 3 of my kids to know and love God. My deepest desire is for them to have a relationship with Him. Therefore, I regularly ask myself, how do I teach my kids to love God?
I love God because I know Him. I know who He is and understand what He has done for me. Our kids will learn to love God the same way.
Since I don’t want to get this wrong, I spend a lot time praying over how I can teach my kids the love of God. Thankfully, the Bible has plenty of wisdom to guide our parenting. Through studying the Bible and prayer, I’ve come up with 5 ways to teach your kids the love of God.
One caveat before we dive in; you can do all these things and be a great parent but your children may still choose to not love God. You cannot force your children to love God, but you can make is easier for them to know Him.
5 Ways to Teach Your Kids the Love of God
1. Read the Bible to them.
The best way to learn about God is to read His word—the story of His love for us. The bible is full of wisdom given directly from God. In today’s world, we get lots of advice. But, the best place to turn to is God’s word.
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NKJV)
If we continually turn to God’s word with our kids, it will teach them how they too can use God’s word in their lives.
2. Make the Bible relevant to everyday life.
Growing up, my family had a regular devotion time, and while I think that formal devotions are important, sometimes reading God’s word seems boring or irrelevant. As parents, we need to bring the Bible into everyday life, making it more real for our kids.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 NKJV)
These verses encourage me to bring the Bible into my family’s life. If I am in the car with the kids and we see something that reminds me of God, then I bring it into the conversation. This style of teaching is less formal and can happen anywhere.
When we make God’s word relevant to everyday life, it makes the Bible less of a book to study and more of a way to have a relationship with God.
3. Pray with them.
I don’t know about you but I feel closest to God when I pray. Praying allows me to feel God’s presence and experience His peace. I want to teach my kids to have the same experience and to live out Philippians 4:6-7.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (NKJV)
By praying with our kids, we demonstrate how easy it is to enter into God’s presence. We also teach them how and when to pray.
4. Discipline them.
This may seem counter intuitive, but the best thing we can do for our kids is discipline them. Discipline demonstrates God’s love to our kids.
“For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12 NKJV)
God wants the best for us and will guide us with discipline when we need it. By disciplining our children, we reflect God’s nature to them. We teach them that our discipline, just like God’s, is a form of love. Discipline is not enjoyable for anyone but it serves a purpose.
“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11 NKJV)
5. Live by example.
We all know people who say one thing and do another (we call them hypocrites). They don’t earn much respect because their words cannot be trusted. If your words about God and godliness don’t match your actions, your kids aren’t likely to take stock in God’s word.
The best teacher of God’s love to your children is not what you say but what you do.
“Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” (Titus 2:6-8 NKJV)
Do you keep your word? Are you honest? Do you steal, cheat, lie? How do you love your family behind closed doors? If we do what we say our children will notice and know that God’s love and grace is real. We aren’t talking perfection here, but honesty and integrity.
Raising kids who love God can be hard. And while none of these activities guarantee your children will follow God, they will help them know Him more, and knowing God leads to loving God.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments: How do you teach your children about God’s love?
Anne has 3 kids (2 girls and a boy), and a wonderful husband of more than 10 years. She is passionate about helping women discover who they are in Christ and how to be a mother, a wife and so on in the light of the gospel.
Anne writes at One Determined Life where she helps women discover who they are and understand they are not alone in their struggles. You can find her on Pinterest and Facebook.