Download this 4-day Family Devotional (tip: its a booklet, so print on both sides) as you learn and pray during your “Travels.”

Or this simple Pray for France Prayer Card pdf or jpeg version

Below are some fun facts and information to learn about the country and people of France, including:

  • Overview
  • French Language
  • French Foods
  • French Culture & Arts
  • Spiritual Needs in France

Overview

France is one of the larger countries on the continent of Europe, bordering the Atlantic ocean on the west side and 5 other European countries on the east side. A history wrought with conflict from the prehistoric time of the Gauls and the Romans, to the ever-present conflict between England and France, to overthrowing the monarchy during the French Revolution, to Napolean and his conquests, to its role in both World Wars. But the French have a strong self-identity and cultural heritage, especially in the area of the arts. Today, France is broken up into 13 administrative regions for governing purposes, although historically each of these areas had their own distinct culture, foods, landscapes, and sometimes dialect. All the regions have a deep variety of landscape, history, and architecture. The population sits steadily at 64.8 million and has historically been one of Europe’s most populous countries. As a country, France is just smaller than the state of Texas. France, as is much of Europe, is a very diverse country with just over half of the country being of French descendants and the rest coming from all over Europe and the world.

Print off this coloring page for your younger kids to enjoy as you learn about France together.

French Language

French is a Latin-based romance language like many of the languages in Europe, owing its roots to the Roman Empire and Celtic languages. French is a very international language: it is the official language in 27 countries around the world, spoken across all continents, it is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and the World Trade Organization and the official language of the Olympic Games. The French language has influenced many other languages and is ranked the second most influential language of the world, just after English. Like English, it uses the roman alphabet and is the most common second-language learned by English-speakers. Teach your children a few French words! “Bonjour” is the general greeting for “hello” or “good morning.” “Au revoir” means “goodbye.” And “merci” means “thank you.” Practice these words as you go about your day or taste some French food!

A fun way for kids to get a taste of a different language is hearing a song they know sung in the new language. Here is “Jesus Loves Me” in French: https://youtu.be/IACjJvOf3m4?si=n49x0FugBIVkNKAk Can your children pick out any of the French words? “Jésus” is Jesus! Take a video of your kids listening to the song and tag me on social media or share in our Facebook Community!

French Food

Meals in France are a big event and are almost always served in courses: appetizers, main meal, salad, dessert, then some cheese to top it off! The biggest meal is usually at lunchtime unless there is a special event (called a soirée) that evening. Soirées last well past midnight as they enjoy taking a lot of time to be together. And drinking wine and/or champagne is included in most meals as drinking is part of the culture. Favorite foods will vary depending on the area of the country and the season but staples are bread and cheese, lots of fresh vegetables and wines/champagnes. Do you have any authentic French restaurants in your area? Make a fun family outing of going and exploring their cuisine. Or try to make some of your own at home! Don’t be afraid to try new things and encourage your children to as well.

Try out a few French recipes at home and involve your kids as you prepare these dishes. I’ve previewed these recipes so they have ingredients that you should be able to find at your local grocery store:

Throw in some fresh vegetables, French cheese and a baguette loaf of bread (with some wine for the adults!) and add in all the extended family you can, and you’ve got a full French meal.

French Culture & Art

Art is an integral part of the French culture and local French children have art every day at school. Many art and craft opportunities are free and the culture has the mindset that “everybody is an artist,” encouraging creativity and self-expression, not perfection. The largest art museum in the world, The Louvre Museum, is located in Paris and houses paintings such as the Mona Lisa and other famous Renaissance art pieces. You can virtually visit the museum here. Try out some favorite crafts that kids in France enjoy: crochet was developed in France in the 16th century, draw your own version of the Mona Lisa, or create your very own Eiffel Tower! Besides arts and crafts, children in France also like to play circus-themed games, and learn yo-yo tricks, and most play “futball” (soccer) year-round.

Spending time outside is an important part of their culture, so many families enjoy hiking, picnicking, and seasonal outdoor activities like skiing and camping especially in the French Alps, which border Italy and Switzerland.

If you are interested in learning more about French culture and people, search your area for French cultural festivals and restaurants. Especially in the month of July, the French like to celebrate Bastille Day, called the “Fête nationale fançaise,” which falls on July 14th and is a national holiday celebrating the unity of the French people and the storming of the Bastille. It is usually celebrated with military parades, fireworks, concerts and balls all over France.

Spiritual Needs in France

Set aside some time to pray for the country and people of France. God is moving in young people in cities. In 2017, less than 1% were born again believers and in 2024 it has doubled to 2%! Beautiful historic chapels are present in almost every village around the countryside but most often those are for tourists or on a priestly circuit and only have a service every few weeks/months and very few locals attend. In cities, it is easier to find a solid church but there just aren’t the numbers of churches needed to reach the French population. With the large immigrant population and decline of Christianity all over Europe, only 30% call themselves Catholic, but even that is only in name, not in practice. 12% of French are Muslim background and 30% call themselves atheist. The French people are hungry for genuine and real relationships, fresh worship songs, and the challenge of evangelism, especially in the younger generation.

Print off this post-card sized prayer card and commit to pray for France as a family!

Or download my 4-day Family Devotional on France!

For more information on the spiritual needs in France, watch this recent report on missions in France.

And enjoy listening to these French Christian worship songs, many of which have English subtitles.