10 Fresh Ways to Get Your Children Thinking about God

Updated Apr 23, 2019
10 Fresh Ways to Get Your Children Thinking about God

When kids are young, it’s easy for them to believe in the basic tenets the word of God promotes. When they get older, however, they begin to ask questions about biblical passages that may be difficult to answer. Additionally, kids brought up in Christian homes can sometimes get into a spiritual rut when it comes to their faith. How can parents help their kids keep the Bible and God fresh in their minds? 

Here are 10 fresh ways to get your children thinking about God:

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1. Practice spiritual disciplines

1. Practice spiritual disciplines

The busyness of life can crowd out any improvement of our spiritual journey. But spiritual disciplines are something every Christian can choose—including children.

Choose two new spiritual disciplines to incorporate into your children’s lives.

  • They can decide weekly to fast from media or a favorite activity.
  • They can start a journal and write down what they feel God is saying to them about the verses they are reading in the Bible.
  • They can spend time daily or weekly in silence and solitude.
  • They can commit to memorize one verse a week from the Bible or study the verses they are reading.

Whatever they choose, help them incorporate it into their lives so when they grow up, it becomes a part of their daily routine.

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2. Start a reading challenge

2. Start a reading challenge

Goodreads is a website that lets readers list and rate their favorite books, as well as learn about similar books in their genre of interest.

Create a challenge between you and your kids to read a certain number of books on biblical topics. Start in January and end in April (or go the whole year). It not only encourages them to push themselves, but also lets them see how other Christians view God.

Read as many as they can realistically achieve given their grade level. Push yourself to not only dust off the books you haven’t read yet, but also read books in genres you don’t normally gravitate toward.

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3. Practice hospitality

3. Practice hospitality

If you are like me, hospitality can sometimes get tacked on at the end of a busy schedule, often ignored or neglected.

Practicing hospitality is a real and tangible way to spread the love of Christ to others. And it gives our kids an opportunity to see the Bible lived out in everyday life.

Invite a couple from church you don’t know well. Commit to doing this once a month. Who doesn’t enjoy a friendly competitive game night getting to know brothers and sisters in Christ? Or you can have close friends over and enjoy a dinner together. Any way you display hospitality, your kids will see Christ lived out to bless others.

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4. Practice kindness

4. Practice kindness

Love is one of the most radical ways Christ is displayed in the world. And one of the ways to do this is through kindness.

Bake some cookies and give them to random people in the neighborhood. Leave them on doorsteps with a note of blessing. What a great surprise to come home to!

Kindness can be as simple as opening a door for the person behind you, paying for someone’s coffee order at the local shop, or giving someone a tissue. When we become others-centered and focus on meeting their needs, we become more like Christ—and our children see that too.

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5. Help them discover their spiritual gifts

5. Help them discover their spiritual gifts

For older children, spiritual gift assessments are a great tool to help them get acquainted with and participate in developing their faith.

Let them take the assessment and allow them to confirm their gifts based on what they know about themselves. Review it with them and confirm those gifts as well.

Perhaps a gift emerges that your child doesn’t believe is theirs. Get into the word to figure out how the gift is used and whether you have seen this gift manifested in their lives.

This is not only a great bonding moment for parent and child, but also a way to present the practical side of spiritual gifts, making passages that list these gifts real to them.

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6. Think outside the box.

6. Think outside the box.

Is there a way you can bring the word of God to life in a tangible way? In today’s world, kids have to deal with the distractions of a screen more than ever. Tablets take up the majority of our kids’ time, making it even more difficult for them to read the word regularly, let alone allow it to penetrate their hearts. But with a bit of creativity, you might be able to bring the word of God to life.

For younger children, let them find (or make) costumes and act out the Bible stories they already know. A memorable experience will solidify the word of God in their hearts, enabling them to observe and memorize small details about the stories they might not already know.

For older children (ages 8-12) let them experiment with technology in a positive way and make videos of the Bible stories. Enlist the help of friends and others you know to roleplay the stories. Let the kids write scripts, adding dialogue and other action to their favorite Bible stories. Edit the movie or play when they are done.

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7. Let them play teacher.

7. Let them play teacher.

Although listening has its place, studies demonstrate that we learn the least from merely hearing information. It is when we practically apply the information that we learn the most.

Let the kids “take over” the Sunday school class. Let them plan the lesson, craft, snack, etc. If they have trouble, guide them and break down the activity into chunks to make it less overwhelming. They will love it!

When they are done, talk with them and review what they learned. Ask them for ideas on how they can better plan the lesson. You may be surprised at their responses.

Not only will they engage with the material more, but they may provide creative (and doable) ways to raise the bar on Sunday school. You all may benefit as a result of this.

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8. Let them serve

8. Let them serve

One of the pillars of the Christian faith is putting others before ourselves. This is a tough concept for kids, especially young ones. But serving others is a great way to teach kids to not only think about others, but also appreciate the things they might take for granted.

From something as simple as dishing out food at a soup kitchen to going on a missions trip to a third-world country, kids can serve no matter what your schedule or budget will allow.

But no matter how little or how much you can spend, the lessons a child will learn as they serve alongside older Christians are priceless.

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9. Teach them discernment

9. Teach them discernment

Kids don’t have to place themselves in a Christian bubble to follow God. They do, however, need to know how to apply biblical principles to everyday life.

Part of spiritual maturity is knowing how to discern what secular activities to participate in and which to avoid.

This can be especially important when it comes to secular music, movies, or television. Where should they draw the line when it comes to the things filling their minds?

Instead of avoiding it all together, teach them to use Christian movie review websites like Movieguide or pluggedin. Let them read reviews to find out the specific content they are interested in. Help them make good decisions about what media to consume without telling them what to do. This will help them get into the Word and apply what has already taken root in their hearts.

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10. Get in touch with nature

10. Get in touch with nature

God’s creation can be appreciated for its beauty in every season—from the freshly fallen snow of winter to the array of trees and leaves in spring. Kids who take the time to observe nature are reminded of the many miracles of God.

Teach them about the uniqueness of every snowflake that falls or the many insects and animals that appear in their backyards. Help them remember that God created everything and that everything has a reason for being on this earth, including themselves.

For those of us who have been Christians for a long time, it can be easy to take God for granted. But teaching your kids to think about God regularly will not only keep them in alignment with the faith you want them to inherit, but will also encourage that faith to transform their minds and ultimately their hearts.

Michelle S. Lazurek is an award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. Winner of the Golden Scroll Children's Book of the Year, the Enduring Light Silver Medal and the Maxwell Award, she is a member of the Christian Author's Network and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She is also an associate literary agent with Wordwise Media Services. For more information, please visit her website at michellelazurek.com.

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Originally published Tuesday, 23 April 2019.