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While I was pregnant with my daughter, I found it so easy to share with her about God. I would read my Bible to her and pray all during the day. I listened to worship music and sang to her (not exactly my strong point, but I did it anyway!). She was never more active than when we were at church! She’d “dance” inside of me while the worship music played. It seemed like she loved Jesus before she was even born! I thought that teaching her about God and His love for her would be the easiest thing in the world.
But, after I had her, things got harder. In the midst of sleep deprivation and transition, I forgot to tell her about God. I wasn’t reading my Bible regularly. I wasn’t listening to worship music. I wasn’t talking to her about God. My husband, thankfully, is a wonderful spiritual leader for our family and is very intentional with Bible study, but I wasn’t continuing this while I was home with her all day long.
My heart was convicted that I wasn’t sharing God with her as we’re called to do in Deuteronomy 11:18-19:
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
It all seemed so overwhelming. How was I supposed to teach such a young child about God?
How do we share God with a baby, toddler, or young child who’s not quite ready (or able to sit still long enough) for actual Bible study or prayer time?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was looking for all the wrong things: The perfect time to teach my daughter about God and the perfect way to help her understand His love for us.
And God, in His gentle and loving way, showed me that I was doing it wrong. Those perfect times and perfect ways will never come. And, if I continue waiting for them, I will never get around to sharing God with my daughter.
God showed me that it’s all about the simple, little things that happen all day long.
It’s the worship song that I sing while I get her dressed.
It’s the game we play where I touch her face and say, “God loves your nose, God loves your cheeks,” and so on.
It’s her hearing me pray out loud, praising God or appealing to Him in a moment of need.
It’s when she sees her father and I wrap our arms around each other and pray together.
It’s all about the little things. Just day in and day out, demonstrating God’s love in simple, everyday tasks.
If you’re looking for ways to share God with your little ones, here are 8 simple things that you can start doing today:
Pray Out Loud Throughout the Day
As you go through your day, look for reasons to praise God out loud. Ask Him for help. Pray over your husband and children. Show them that prayer can happen anytime, anywhere because God is with us all the time, everywhere. While there is definitely a need for solo prayer time with God, by sharing some of your prayer time with your children, you’re laying a strong foundation for them as they learn what it means to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Read the Bible Out Loud
I try to read at least one chapter from God’s Word out loud to my daughter every single day. She’s too young right now to understand the need to sit still and listen, so I just read to her while she crawls around on the floor and plays with her toys. She’s still hearing God’s precious Word, and I pray that she will, as a result, learn to crave daily time with Him. Even if your children are too young to really pay attention, start reading the Bible out loud to them today.
Play Worship Music (And, of course, have dance parties!)
My husband is really good about this one! He’ll come in for work, put on worship music, and dance with our daughter while I’m making dinner. The music and dancing make the entire house seem brighter and lovelier. During the day, put on some worship music, sing and dance with your kids. Enjoy worshiping the Lord together!
Tell Your Children God Loves Them (and repeat continuously!)
Before each sleep time (naps and nighttime) I tell my daughter 3 things: “I love you, your daddy loves you, and, most of all, God loves you!” I want her to hear this so much that she doesn’t ever question how much she is loved by her earthly parents and her Heavenly Father. Also, incorporate this into teaching games. My daughter is starting to learn where her body parts are so this is a fun one for us! Point to your child’s nose and say, “God loves your nose!” And so on. Such a fun way to teach them that God loves every part of them!
Use Everyday Things to Teach Your Child about God
It’s so easy to lose our wonder in the world around us and all that God has created. Start using small, everyday things to teach your children about God’s creation. When you see a butterfly, say “God created that beautiful butterfly.” Or a sunset. Or a flower. Share in the beauty God has created with your children all day long.
Read Children’s Christian Books during Story Time
There are so many wonderful Christian children’s books out there that make learning about God lots of fun! We love The Jesus Storybook Bible, Just in Case You Ever Wonder, God Gave Us You, and If Jesus Lived Inside My Heart. As your little ones are getting ready for naps or nighttime sleep, take a few moments to read from one of these books.
Get Your Children Involved in Serving Others
This one can seem a little more intimidating than the rest but is still doable, even if you have very young children. If you’re sending out a care package or a handwritten note to someone in need of love, have your child make a finger painting (or even just a hand or footprint) to include. There’s something about baby “artwork” that seems to brighten just about anyone’s day! Also, take your children with you as you serve others. My husband and I started volunteering at a homeless ministry when our daughter was about 4 months old. I would cook the food and then we’d all go together to deliver it. I would hold our daughter as my husband helped serve the food. She wasn’t able to actually participate, of course, but she’s still seeing an important aspect of following Christ: Service to others. Also, having her with me gave me opportunities to share God’s love with the other moms and children there. As she gets older, we’re looking forward to teaching her about donating her toys to children in need, among many other service opportunities.
Talk about God Regularly in Everyday Conversations
Remember, kids are always listening! As you talk with your friends, family, and others in the community, make sure you mention God regularly. Don’t be afraid to talk about how God has brought you through struggles and how He has blessed you. Your children will benefit from knowing that God is with us through every struggle, every season, and every joy in life. Don’t relegate God to a “Sunday church conversation.” Make Him a part of every aspect of your life and let your children hear you do this.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about how to share God’s love with your young children, just start with these small, simple strategies. Don’t worry about finding perfection in time, method, or place. Simply include God in every aspect of your day with your little ones.
If you decide to try one of these strategies for sharing God with your children all day long, I’d love it if you’d share it with me in the comments below! Also, let me know if you have other ways you do this! I’d love to learn from you, my sweet sister in Christ!