Ten things we can do at home

Where do I start? Here are some simple ideas that will help your children start to see who God is.

The great news is you’re already doing lots. Just by telling your children you love them, you help them build strong relationships with others, including God.

Try one or two of these at home today!

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1. Play with your children

Playing with our children and having fun reaffirms our love for them and enjoyment of life. It also helps develop their imagination.

We all use our imaginations to picture what God is like so whether we realise it or not, this helps faith to grow!

You could try this fun Prayer Jenga game as a way to make prayer fun.

2. Eat a meal together

Spending time together is so much easier when food is involved. For a toddler sitting in a highchair they get to feel part of the family, and it helps everyone with communication, including teenagers!

Try having everyone in the family (including adults!) answer simple questions like:

What was the best thing about your day?
What was the hardest thing about your day?

You could even add in an extra focus like:

Did you see God in anything you did today? Or Did you talk to God about anything today?

3. Say sorry when you’re wrong

It’s easy for our children to think that we’re perfect, and that we’re always right! We do tend to reinforce that message. But actually showing them we’re not helps them to see that God loves us even when we make mistakes.

Saying sorry when we over-react or make a mistake can make a huge difference to our children’s perceptions of what it means to be a Christian. We can also teach them about forgiveness by asking them to forgive us too, demonstrating what God does for us.

4. Point to God in the everyday

Creation is a great way to start a conversation about God. If you say it’s a beautiful day, point out a magnificent tree or are amazed at how much it’s raining, try adding on just a short statement like: “Isn’t God so amazing to have created all that?” Or you could use the opportunity to pray and thank him for his creation.

Simple sentences like this make God a natural part of conversation and everyday life.

5. Offer a glimpse of your spiritual life

We often have a private relationship with God – silent prayers, reading the Bible alone, or singing worship songs in the car. Giving our children a little insight into what we do gives them an example to follow.

Could you play worship music in the house and sing along? Could you leave your Bible out, or tell your children what you just read? Perhaps you could ask them to pray for you? You could tell them what you learnt in church so that they see how that impacts you.

Showing children that God is part of your life and that you spend time with him makes God and faith seem more real.

6. Pray at bedtime

Praying for your children before they go to sleep is a great way of showing our children our faith. Encourage your children to pray, even if they do it silently in their head. And don’t worry if they don’t want to. Just the fact that they know you trust God enough to talk to him is helpful.

Think about how you can pray more specifically than just for a good night’s sleep too (we all need that!). Can you thank God for something, or pray for a situation at school?

7. Share a story

There are so many ways to share a Bible story with our children. You can just read it, or act it out, do a creative activity to illustrate it – however you and your child interact best.

But could you tell them why you love that story? What does it show you about who God is? Knowing that they mean something more than just a ‘nice story’ really helps their understanding.

If you have older children could you find an opportunity to tell them why you love Jesus? Why are you a Christian? They would love to know how you became a Christian, and your own personal story.

8. Meet up with others from church

Do you have any good Christian friends? Spending time together with your children (and theirs if they have them) can help relationships develop, so that there are others who love Jesus in their lives as well. Just having fun together and showing the love of the wider family of God is so important.

And as they grow up they have other friends or adults they can talk to when you’re not so popular! Ask God to show you which families could be the perfect fit for you.

9. Offer an explanation

It can be really easy to assume that children know why we do things. But have you ever explained to your children why you go to church? Why do we sing songs together? Why do we make time to talk to people and be kind to them?

Often these simple explanations can make a big difference to understanding why we do what we do. It will help your children to join in and give them motivation too.

10. Find a time to pray

We know how important it is to pray for our children, but it’s so easy to forget and let it slide. Life gets busy, or there are more pressing crises that we bring to God.

But nothing beats praying that our children will grow up to love Jesus. Can you find a way to remind yourself to pray for them?

That might be every time you see a specific picture of them on the wall. Perhaps before you go to bed you can pop into their room and pray for them. Or could you meet with other parents and pray for your children together? Whatever works for you, whenever you can – it’s worth it!

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