Talking to your littles about Jesus & faith
First, a little background info about me: I have worked in children's ministry for 6 years now, helping to tell littles ages birth to Pre-K about Jesus. My husband and I also serve in high school ministry helping lead students in growing personal relationships with Christ. While we are certainly don't claim to be experts and are still learning ourselves, we've got a little experience helping kiddos and students explore faith and begin a relationship with Jesus.
So when I discovered last year that we were expecting our first little babe, I was surprised to find how anxious I became about introducing our soon-to-be little one to faith and encourage his walk with Jesus. I new we would take him to church, but how do I talk to him about Jesus at home? And how do you do it in a way that gives him a passion for faith? The responsibility started to feel too much to bear.
While I certainly won't claim to have this mastered, after some wise counsel from seasoned moms in my life, I've got some tips that will hopefully help you feel better equipped when encouraging your kiddos with their faith.
Pray specifically for your child to develop a love for Jesus. After having Brennan, a friend of mine (a tried and true mom), gave me a book called "The Power of a Praying Parent" and it was SO encouraging. If you are like me (a first born and a little type A), you crave control and want to feel like you are able to determine the outcome of all situations. For me, it was crucial to realize that only the Holy Spirit can give my child a love for Christ. While I can model this in our home by speaking scripture and how I treat people, I cannot control my child's relationship with Jesus. BUT, I can pray intently that my child find a genuine love for Jesus and live that out. Find some scriptures that speak to what you want for your child and begin praying them regularly!
Partner with your local church. If you aren't plugged into a great local church already, try to find one that partners with families to teach kiddos about Jesus in a fun and uplifting environment that encourages growth and exploration. This also helps teach your child that life with Jesus should be fun!
Keep the conversation going. Don't restrict conversations about Jesus to Sunday mornings. To be completely transparent, this really is the area I worried most about. How deep do you go with a little kiddo? Can you talk about Jesus too much? The best advice I got in this area was to look for opportunities to share simple truths in your daily life in a natural way. If you are taking a walk or playing outside on a beautiful day, remind your kiddo how wonderful it is that Jesus gave us sunshine and green grass to play on! Don't worry about having super deep conversations, just try to re-enforce the basic truths like God made me, God loves me, and Jesus wants to be my friend forever in the natural conversations you already have!
If you have any other fun ideas on introducing kiddos to faith, I'd love to hear them! Feel free to share in comment section!