Encouraging the Faith of a Child

In 2008, I was deep in the middle of my doctorate studies when our first child, Obadiah, was born.  A 10-day seminar was scheduled 6 weeks after his birth.  As naive young parents, we thought it would be easier if we were all together.  I had all-day classes and all-night reading and writing.  Obadiah wasn’t sleeping well during those days and neither was his mom.  All of us were exhausted.

One morning, his sounds and squirms woke me before it did Amanda.  I quickly grabbed him, put him in the stroller, and tried to cart him around until he went back to sleep so, hopefully, Amanda could get some much-needed rest.  I ended up making laps on the brick walkway around the seminary lawn at the hub of campus.  On that morning, I was hours away from needing to declare my doctoral focus.  

As I would consider ideas, Obadiah would start squirming, and I started moving faster.  It seemed almost every time I got close to an idea, he distracted me.  At one point, I jokingly told his six-week-old frame, “Will you knock it off?  I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life.”

And then it hit me.  He was what I was going to do with my life.

Have you wondered about the legacy you are going to leave? It’s time to go the second mile in your discipleship legacy.


1. Chronologically Teach the Bible

  • Teaching children isolated stories can teach moral lessons but possibly neglect God’s truth.
  • Prioritize a method of teaching your children the big picture of the Bible.

2. Highlight Teachable Moments

  • Embrace the scheduled and spontaneous moments of family discipleship.
  • The most memorable lessons are often associated with a pivotal experience.

3. Initiate Open-Ended Questions

  • Refrain from using leading or closed questions to ascertain a child’s real comprehension of spiritual matters.
  • Always display motivation and excitement when a child shows interest in spiritual matters.

4. Live an Authentic Example

  • Children are able to ascertain the difference between a parent’s desire and a parent’s obligation.
  • If you wouldn’t be satisfied if your child imitated your example in a particular area, you need to make changes now.

5. Decipher a Child’s Readiness

  • Beware of the danger of a child desiring spiritual growth due to peer or parental pressure.
  • Parents should continue to monitor progress over the years to reaffirm decision and discipleship.