Knowing how to help your child grow spiritually is a top priority for Christian parents. As our kids have grown, Katie and I have been asked about that topic regularly. Being able to guide children to grow spiritually is a privilege but can seem weighty at times. We’ve gotten it right in certain seasons and wandered around lost in others. Sometimes our ideas work really well; other times they fall apart.
Read on to discover our Bible-based advice for guiding children’s faith growth.
7 Tips: How to Help Your Child Grow Spiritually
Here are seven suggestions for parents as they guide children to grow spiritually:
1. Model your spiritual life to children.
For anything related to parenting, you must pass along what you desire to see. If you want to pass anything to your kids spiritually, you must model it for them. They will watch you for 18+ years!
Your kids will see you read your Bible (or not). They’ll see how often you pray and what your prayers contain. And they’ll notice how often you attend church and how important spiritual things are to you.
2. Involve kids in a church.
Again, children will often do what you do. So do what you’d like to see them do! (As you can tell, that’s a recurrent theme in how to help your child grow spiritually.)
What if your kids don’t like church? Many parents say their kids don’t want to attend worship services or Sunday school. “I don’t want to force spiritual things onto my kids,” they say. This often comes from a place of fear because you don’t know what to do. But it’s also the fear that your kids will reject church and want nothing to do with Christianity.
The problem is that we don’t apply this to anything else. We force our kids to do math, learn a language, eat broccoli, turn off electronics, etc., often to their dismay.
If you don’t involve kids in a church, when do you think they’ll learn that? If they don’t understand an aspect of a worship service, explain it to them. And if you don’t know what to tell them, do some research together.
As often as possible, kids and students should be involved in small groups, serving in a church and attending worship. Is every kid different? Yes. Should you force your kids to do something they dislike? Sometimes.
Our kids take out the trash and dislike it, but they still do it. I don’t think they’ll be scarred as adults because of that.
3. Read the Bible together.
Part of why kids dislike church is they don’t understand the Bible’s relevance and the things that happen at church. It’s something their parents do, apart from them. So do it with them!
I know this is difficult, and kids don’t always want to sit still. But doing something is better than nothing.
For our family, we used resources like The Jesus Storybook Bible when the kids were younger. Now we use a catechism, working through one question per week as a family. It doesn’t matter what you do…as long as you do something.