Written by Becky Danielson from Faith First Parent
Faith lessons and family values are rooted at home in what a child learns, observes, and lives each day. Foundational practices like praying and reading the Bible come from intentional leading on the part of the parents, grandparents, and extended family members.
For example, the Bible is a roadmap, instruction book, and communication tool all rolled into one. Reading the Bible with children of any age provides a solid foundation in faith. Lessons learned today will translate into truth for the future, especially when the going gets rough.
When kids witness family members leaning on God, Scripture, and faith-filled friends, children learn to do the same. These practices become habits in times of need and celebration. Adults will not do it all perfectly, but where we’re lacking, God fills in the gaps.
If you don’t feel well-equipped to lead your grandchildren in faith matters, you’re not alone. Little kids expect the adults in their lives to know everything. Truly, it’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. Learn with your grandchildren! The goal is to guide children to develop faith habits that last a lifetime.
Try these tips for incorporating faith practices into family life with young children.
Choose a Time
If your grandchildren live with you, choose a good time of day that works: bedtime, breakfast, quiet time after lunch or family dinnertime. If your grandchildren are visiting, make a plan to share God’s Word at bedtime, mealtime, or story time.
Begin with Bible Stories
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus taught in parables. He asked questions. Follow the Lord’s teaching example by asking your grandchildren open-ended questions allowing them to think. Follow with questions to assist kids in applying what they’ve learned.
Be Age and Developmentally Appropriate
Keep in mind, the younger the grandchildren, the shorter the verse or scripture lesson.
Weave Prayer into Daily Activities with Grandkids
Here are a few ways to pray:
- ACTS Prayer Model (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) provides a great framework. Children learn first to adore God by listing His attributes. Confession clears the way for earnest prayer. A thankful heart takes into consideration all God has provided before the requests begin. Supplication allows the child to ask God to help, guide, and grow their dependence on the Lord. God is not easily taken for granted when the scope of prayer is broad and worshipful as compared to a laundry list of wants.
- Memorized/rote prayers are helpful for young children to make prayer a habit. Moving into personal prayers and conversing with Jesus further develops the relationship.
- Body prayers allow for a kinesthetic experience for children. Touch the mouth and pray for kind words to be spoken, the eyes to see those in need, the hands to help others, and so on.
- Scripture – Use a concordance to find the area in which your grandchild is struggling. For example, Psalm 4:8 can be used at bedtime to alleviate fear by inserting the child’s name into the text. “In peace Anna will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make Anna dwell in safety. Amen”
- Pray Together – When praying with your grandchildren, make it personal by including family, friends, schoolmates, teachers, and neighbors.
- Mealtime Blessings – Saying grace is a great way to start a meal quietly with a focus on God and gratitude.
Model Your Faith
Most importantly, model your faith in Jesus. Actions speak louder than words. Show your grandchildren how much you love the Lord and the Bible. Intentional practices display your faith in action, growing your grandchildren’s faith in and dependence on God.
“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
– Deuteronomy 11:18a-19
Becky Danielson, M.Ed., is a Christian, wife, mother, and licensed parent & family educator. She had the gift of a grandmother who influenced her life tremendously.
Becky is the co-author of Faithful Grandparenting: Practical Ideas for Connecting the Generations. She blogs for parents and grandparents at FaithFirstParent.com.
3 thoughts on “Faith Practices for Your Grandchildren”
Lots of great ideas, Becky. Thank you for sharing.
Can I rephase some of these ideas for a book that I am about to finish? It is called, “Take Your Stand! How to Raise Strong Children and Insulate Them from Indoctrination.” It has a section for Spiritual Development under each age birth through 5 years old where your ideas would be just perfect.
Thank you for your inquiry. Becky, the author, will be responding directly to you.