In today’s fast-paced world, Christian parents often feel overwhelmed by the challenges of raising their kids in the faith. Many fear if they are doing “enough” to spiritually influence their children in today’s world. Whether you are a parent of littles, overwhelmed with the daily tasks of diapers and dishes and need help to just begin to have spiritual conversations in your home, or you are a parent of teens, chauffeuring them around and trying to squeeze God’s Word into their school and relationship challenges, these tips are for you! Because the key to effective discipleship lies in using everyday moments in your family life as well as using current, worldwide, and local events to point the next generation to Christ.

Before parents can talk about God with their children, parents must know Him intimately and personally themselves, even if you are just starting to grow in your own faith. Parents cannot call their children to “follow Jesus” or “walk like Jesus” unless they are doing it in a way that children can see and mimic. And while there isn’t a formula for this, intentional discipleship that overflows from hearts that are so in love with Christ is authentic discipleship that sticks – and multiplies!

When parents abide in Christ and let His Word inform their hearts and their thoughts and let the Holy Spirit guide their words and actions, faith will more naturally overflow into their children, giving the children a biblical model to mimic. Parents can only ask their children what Paul asked of the early believers: “imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

So how do we as Christian parents use everyday moments and world events, to talk to our kids about Jesus?

Embrace Everyday Moments

Everyday activities offer abundant opportunities for discipleship. Whether it’s during meals, car rides, or bedtime routines (see Deuteronomy 6:7-9), parents can use these moments to instill biblical values in their children. For example, while preparing dinner, parents can discuss the importance of gratitude and thank God for the food. During car rides, they can talk about God’s creation and the beauty of nature they see around them. When challenges arise from living life together, you can talk about how to have a godly response (and ask forgiveness for when you don’t!), giving practical, real-life examples as you live.

To make the most of everyday moments, consider these practical tips:

  • Model faith in daily life: Let your children see your faith in action. Pray openly, read the Bible together, and discuss how God is working in your own life. Be an open book for them to watch real faith in action!
  • Create a routine: Establish regular times for family devotions and prayer. Consistency helps children understand the importance of faith in daily life. A little bit goes a long way when they are young!
  • Incorporate faith into everyday language: Use playtime to teach bible songs. Bring Scripture into moments of conflict and discipline. Compare a book they are reading or a TV show they have watched to a bible story.
  • Focus on the character of God: Point your kids’ hearts to God’s heart regularly through nature walks, how He showed up through the kindness of a friend, how He provided, what He loves and what He hates.

Everyday events can be powerful teaching tools. Use them to highlight God’s character and presence in all circumstances from the difficult to the mundane. For example, if your child experiences a disappointment, discuss how to trust God and seek His comfort. At sporting events, talk about perseverance, dedication, and using our talents for God’s glory. When your children are in conflict with a sibling or a friend, discuss what Jesus would do. When challenges in life arise, talk about how to abide in and trust in God’s faithfulness even when it feels hard. You can use birthdays and anniversaries as times to reflect on God’s blessings and faithfulness to you and your family during the previous year.

mom reading to her son

Action Step: Create a list of daily activities where you can naturally incorporate faith-based conversations. Plan specific topics or questions to discuss during these times.

Pray: Ask God to bring to mind scriptures or bible stories that you can incorporate into daily activities.

Leverage Current Events

World events, such as a war, a natural disaster, or even something like the Olympic Games, provide unique opportunities to teach children about different places and peoples, different faiths and religions, different cultures and traditions. By giving them something to contrast with what they know and believe (and they see you live out!), you give them the opportunity to put their biblical worldview skills to practical use.

Whether you choose to talk about larger world events or focus more on local events, you are informing their worldview. A worldview is the way that every one of us views the world, the lens which through we interpret life and things that happen to us and around us. It is our job, as Christian parents, to give our children a biblical worldview, a biblical foundation on which they will live the rest of their lives. And when we choose to talk about world events in light of a biblical worldview, it will:

  • Inspire and feed their faith in God.
  • Create hearts of compassion and encourage them that their prayers matter.
  • Provide them with a tangible way to get involved with God.
  • Enlarge their worldview to trust God when they see how others go through trials.

You can use events like these to discuss with them biblical themes like perseverance, trust in God, and honoring God in our choices. As suggested above, the Olympics can be a great starting point for conversations about how athletes use their gifts and how we can use ours to glorify God or even how every tribe tongue and nation will one day worship God!

Children are naturally curious and will have many questions about faith and the world around them. Encourage open dialogue, allowing them to express their thoughts, their questions, and their doubts. This fosters a deeper understanding and personal connection to their own faith, giving them a solid foundation as they grow up.

Children with hands on globe

Action Step: Plan to watch events like the Summer 2024 Olympics with your children. Use them as springboards for discussions about biblical principles and how to live out their faith in daily life.

Pray: Ask God to give you clarity on which world or local event(s) you can and should share with your children in age-appropriate ways and how you can confidently use these events to point them to God and His heart for others.

Address Difficult Events with Sensitivity

Parents have the beautiful challenge and privilege to help their children process difficult events as they come up over their lifetime.  Addressing challenging topics like natural disasters, local conflicts, divorce of a friends’ parents, or the death of a loved one, it’s crucial to be honest yet sensitive to their age and emotional maturity.

Some strategies to consider:

  • Prepare emotionally: Ensure you are emotionally ready to guide your children through these discussions. Process your feelings first so you can provide a calm and biblical perspective, but don’t necessarily hide your emotions either.  Remember that you are not just guiding your children intellectually but emotionally as well in these moments.
  • Use age-appropriate language: Simplify complex issues using terms your children already understand. Make a clear what is right and wrong based on what the Bible says. Ask your children how they think God might feel about the given situation, reminding them that God has feelings, too.
  • Be careful of your own prejudices: Make sure that you are filtering the issue through what the Bible says first, not what culture says or how you grew up. Always bring the Bible into the conversation.
  • Focus on prayer and compassion: Encourage your children to pray for those affected and to have compassionate hearts. Explain how prayer can make a difference and show empathy. End in turning your hearts to God and His heart and ways.
boys shopping with mom

Action Step: When a difficult event occurs, take time to pray and reflect on how to discuss it with your children. Use it as an opportunity to teach them about God’s love and care for all people.

Pray: Ask God for discernment on how you discuss challenging topics with your children.

Integrate Lessons from the Bible

Scripture should be the foundation of all discipleship efforts. Relate everyday experiences to biblical stories and principles. Don’t worry about knowing the “address” for each reference you make but make it a habit to look them up together (use a Bible Concordance and learn how to look-up verses as a new family habit!) and then write them down and post the scripture up around your home; you and your kids will be learning how to use the Bible together!

mom cuddling and reading the bible with son

Action Step: Choose a few key Bible verses that align with the themes you want to discuss with your children. Post them up around your home and refer to them during relevant everyday moments.

Pray: Ask God to bring a few key Bible verses to mind and give you creative ways to memorize or meditate on them daily!

Discipling your children using everyday moments and current events provides rich opportunities to instill a biblical worldview into the next generation. By embracing everyday moments, addressing difficult events with sensitivity, and grounding your discussions in Scripture, you can nurture your children’s faith. Remember, discipleship is a continuous journey (for you and for them!), and every moment is a chance to point your children towards God.

For more insights and practical tips, consider grabbing your copy of Alicia’s Olympic Family Devotional to follow along during the 2024 Summer Olympics that starts July 26th! This family devotional will equip you with the tools and confidence to show you how to make the most of every opportunity to disciple your children. Order your copy today!