It’s never too early to start nudging your child toward God. Here are 5 ways you can teach your toddler about God as you go about everyday life…
The darkening sky was dotted with bright white stars. My 3-year-old nephew was staring up at them, his innocent eyes wide with wonderment.
“Do you like the stars?” I asked him.
He nodded silently, his gaze still fixed on the heavens.
“Do you know who made the stars?”
He looked at me. Again, he nodded silently.
“Who made them?”
He thought for a moment. Then he shrugged.
“I don’t know…”
WHY YOU SHOULD TEACH YOUR TODDLER ABOUT GOD
Toddlers are amazing little people. Week by week (sometimes even day by day!), you can notice a change in their height, their awareness, and their skills.
They have so much to learn, and they’re continually taking in more than we realize, every single day.
As Christian mamas, one thing we must be diligent to teach them is the gospel.
Far more important than alphabets and numbers and catchy songs is the truth of the Word of God – the grace and love that God showed by sending His Son to pay the debt of our sin and save us.
Even though that might seem too much for little minds to grasp (I mean… we can’t even fully comprehend it, ourselves!), it’s never too early to start planting seeds of truth that, hopefully, will one day be the foundation on which they build their lives.
Here are five easy ways you can point your toddler toward God, starting today…
1. PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING
Your toddler may be too young to fully comprehend the intricacies of prayer, but it’s never too early to teach him or her that God is there and that He listens to and answers prayer.
Keep it simple, but make it a priority.
You can pray:
- In the morning, thanking God for a new day and asking for His guidance.
- At meal times, thanking God for the food. It literally can be as simple as ‘Thank You, God, for this food. In Jesus’s Name, Amen’.
- At night, asking God to watch over your child and keep them safe as they sleep.
- When they’re scared about something, asking God to help them.
- When they receive a gift, thanking God for providing it.
There are so many opportunities each day to lead your toddler in prayer – all you have to do is look for them… then pray!
2. READ CHRISTIAN BOOKS
My little guy loves flipping through books and hearing them read aloud to him. There are so many great Christian books for babies and toddlers available these days.
He also loves the Bible Friends series – board books with full-color pictures of knitted and sewn Bible characters and their simplified stories.
And don’t forget – the Bible is the very best thing you can ever read to your child (this is a great one with full Bible text, helpful notes, and bright illustrations).
Sounds too advanced? Remember – you’re sowing seeds, not expecting them to fully understand just yet.
Besides, Deuteronomy 6:4-7 instructs us to always be talking to our children about the commandments of God:
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
3. CREDIT THE CREATOR
Speaking of ‘when you walk by the way’… when you’re outside with your little one, take the opportunity to teach them about God through His creation!
As you’re teaching them objects and colors, tell them that God made it.
For example: “This is grass. Grass is green. God made this.”
Again, it doesn’t have to be complex – keep it simple.
If your child is old enough to talk and respond, ask them questions – but make sure to ask open-ended questions, not yes or no questions!
Remember the example I gave at the start of this post? When I asked my nephew if he knew who made the stars?
That was the moment I learned the importance of open-ended questions when talking to toddlers about God.
Instead of asking “Do you know who made them?”, I should have asked, “Who made them?”.
Because if you ask a young child a yes or no question, they’ll answer yes or no… whether they’re giving an accurate answer or not!
Try to reinforce what your child is learning about God as Creator by asking “Who made…?”, “What is…?”, or any other open-ended question that suits the situation.
That way, you’ll be able to accurately measure how much your child truly understands.
4. TEACH THROUGH TUNES
I often sing my little boy to sleep at night or sing him to sleep for his nap during the day. This is another great opportunity to teach your child principles of God’s truth.
These songs cover topics like creation, the fall, sin, redemption, Jesus’s death and resurrection, Jesus coming to earth as a baby, heaven, grace, forgiveness, eternity, hope, encouragement, and strength in Christ. By singing those five songs alone, the truth of God is being regularly imprinted on my little boy’s heart and mind.
You can also learn little kids songs and choruses and teach your child to sing them once they’re old enough to talk. (This CD is my little guy’s current favorite!)
Sing about God – who He is, what He has done, and why He’s worthy of our praise.
5. WITNESS WITH WATER
Use bath time and getting washed as an opportunity to talk about sin and our need to be washed clean by God’s forgiveness.
When getting dressed after the bath, talk about how God clothes us in robes of righteousness, but break each concept down as much as you need to for your child’s awareness level.
Use small, simple words so it’s easier for them to understand. And tell them that Jesus is the Living Water – He gives life to everyone and everything.
And He can wash your child clean and give him or her life, too.
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
Whichever way you do it, just teach your toddler about God.
As mamas, we’re often so focused on meeting our child’s physical needs that we can end up neglecting their spiritual needs, either completely unintentionally or by thinking that they’re just too little to understand yet.
But trust me – even if they don’t understand some of these concepts yet, it won’t be long until they do.
The old saying is right – a child’s brain truly is like a sponge, and they are constantly soaking up new information and copying behaviors and actions that they see others around them doing.
Let them see you living out your faith in everyday life, and let them hear you telling them the glorious truth about the living God – and the redemption He offers us through the grace and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Keep planting and watering seeds of truth from God’s Word in their hearts and minds, mama. God’s got you, and your toddler, in His mighty hands.
>>> LIVING IT OUT >>>
Deuteronomy 6, and take note of God’s instructions for raising children. Think about how you’re walking in obedience to the Word, or if you need to start doing so.
Ask God to help you as you endeavor to weave biblical truth into your daily routine with your toddler. Pray that your toddler’s heart and mind will be humbly receptive to God’s Word, and pray that you will recognize (and act on) opportunities to teach your toddler about God. Thank God for His truth, His presence and His compassionate love for you and your child.
I’ve put together a free printable ‘Teaching Toddlers Truth’ Mini Kit for you, to help you out with ideas 1, 3 and 5 above! Just print out and follow the instructions on each page to help imprint the truth about God onto your toddler’s curious mind and heart.
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Read this: Why You Can Rest In God’s Love (No Matter What)