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How do we biblically raise our young Christian children in this rapidly growing secular culture? And how do we do it well, in a way that actually produces fruit in our kids when they are older?
In this post, I’m going to share some helpful Christian parenting tips for moms of toddlers and young children. These tips are for moms who are looking for ways to get prepared for that day when their little ones become teenagers and start asking challenging questions about their faith.
I am a mom of a toddler and an infant. My son is 3 and my daughter is 10 months. And I have to admit, I often worry about my kid’s Christian future in America. I try not to worry, but how can I not when Christianity is being attacked more than I think we’ve ever seen in this country?
But since they are so young, it can seem like there really isn’t much I can teach them. What can I do now to start them on the right path when they are too young to understand everything (or anything at 10 months)?
Well, there are definitely some things we can do NOW, even at these young ages, to start our kids off on the right path.
And there are things we can do NOW to start preparing ourselves for when they are older.
Some Important Biblical Parenting Principles
So, what is a Biblical parent? I mean, the Bible doesn’t exactly have a chapter on Parenting.
However, there are scriptures on parenting, as well as stories about both good and bad parents in the Bible whose examples we can follow (or avoid). I usually like to start by finding scriptures on any topic. So let’s take a look at what the Word says about parenting according to God’s instruction.
- Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6
- Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. ~ Ephesians 6:4
- Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. ~ Colossians 3:21
- Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. ~ Proverbs 13:24
- Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. ~ Psalm 127:3
- Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. ~ Proverb 29:17
- Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck. ~ Proverbs 1:8-9
Here are seven verses on Christian parenting, seven very important ones I might add. But there are more, not to mention the many mothers and fathers in the Bible who God used to teach us how to be good parents.
The Bible is the ultimate book on Christian parenting tips, and although sometimes we wish there were verses that dealt with our struggles specifically, the Bible is sufficient for us as is.
Just from these seven verses, some Biblical parenting principles we can take away are:
- Intentionally train your children
- Discipline your children
- Instruct them in the Lord’s ways
- Do not provoke them
- Love them for they are a heritage and a reward
- Both fathers and mothers are to instruct and teach
- Children are to heed their parents’ teachings
And if we dive further into scripture, we’ll find that there is actually more parenting instruction than we realize.
Christian Parenting Tips for Moms of Young Children
I’ve been a mom now for four years (my son is almost 4). So not a super long time. But it’s been enough time to learn that time flies by, and kids pick things up quicker than you think. In the beginning, I just didn’t think it mattered to start training up my child so early, as the Bible instructs us to. I didn’t think it would stick.
However, let me tell you. My son fell in love with prayer at the age of 2 and now will remind me that it’s time to pray when I forget. He loves his prayer books and his children’s Bibles and will sing worship songs right alongside me (or try to lol).
I was extremely surprised at how quickly he grasped these things. He may not fully understand what it all means and what it’s for, but he is involved and loving it. And that’s a great place to start.
If you’re looking for some ways to start teaching your young kids about God, here are a couple of posts that will inspire you with ideas on where to begin:
The tips in these posts range from monitoring what your children watch on TV to teaching them about prayer as early as possible.
In today’s climate, it’s so important that we are diligent, even from the very beginning when we aren’t seeing much fruit for our labor. Because that time will go by at some point, and your kids will be asking all sorts of questions. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be left scratching my head all the time. I want to be a good Christian mom who takes her role very seriously as it relates to teaching my kids about God.
Being a good Christian mom doesn’t have to be difficult. But it does mean you have to put in some work and be intentional. Here are a few posts that touch on being a good Christian mother.
One of the best things we can do as mothers is to remember to lean into God. We can’t do it all. And I know it sometimes feels like we should. But God intentionally designed us to need him in all seasons of our lives.
It’s natural to be worried about our kids’ spiritual futures. The world is rapidly changing, and we can’t just wrap them in bubble wrap and hide them from the evil of the world until judgment day. But, we can make intentional parenting decisions as Christian moms that guide them and make sure to partner with God. Here are a few posts if you’re worried about your child’s spiritual future, especially given how things are now.
Ultimately, one of the best things you can do for your toddlers at this stage is to start getting ready now. Start teaching them now, and start teaching yourself now.
Raising a godly child in an ungodly world can be very challenging. There is pressure all around us as parents to make certain choices for our kids. From whether or not to vaccinate, to choosing the right schools. It can be overwhelming and stressful to have to make so many important decisions for our little ones.
As moms of toddlers, we’ve already been bombarded with a lot of decisions. And looking ahead into our kids’ future, we know there are many more decisions to be made.
With the world becoming increasingly more hostile toward true Christianity, we should expect our parenting decisions to often look a little differently from other families. We might have to say no to some things that everyone else is saying yes to. We might have to pull our kids out of activities that leave others scratching their heads.
As Christian mothers living in a secular parenting world, these challenges will come our way often. And we need to work on becoming courageous parents now, while our kids are still little. We need to exercise our courageous parenting muscles and start mapping out now what things we will and will not allow with our kids as they grow.
Over the few years that I’ve been a mom, I’ve noticed people automatically assume that you will make certain choices for your kids. Some things have become so normalized that they’re just not questioned.
But as a Christian, this can and will be troublesome. It can make saying no to certain things difficult because you know you’ll get some crazy looks from family and friends. It means not participating in certain events and getting questioned and maybe even made fun of for your choice. It means standing your ground on certain convictions on behalf of your children and family, and maybe receiving backlash and pressure because of it.
But the Bible calls us to be courageous.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
And that includes being courageous parents. Our courageous choices may make us look weird in the world’s eyes at times, but it’s really God’s eyes that we should care more about. How does God want me to proceed with these decisions? That should be the first governing factor when faced with a difficult parenting decision.
Godly parenting in the 21st century requires us to start being courageous, and exercise that courage now while our children are young so that we set them on the right track.
3 Christian Parenting Tips That Will Help You Stay Courageous
Standing for what we believe as Christian mothers can and will be challenging. The world does not always see things the way God does. The world will think the choices we make are excessive, limiting, and even oppressive. But we have to know our why and keep that at the forefront of our minds. Below are three very important parenting tips for Christian moms wanting to make more courageous parenting decisions for their kids.
- Reference the Bible on parenting decisions and use that as your starting guide
- Stay focused on your vision for your kids and family
- Surround yourself with like-minded mothers for support
Our toddlers will grow up to be grown men and women one day. Who do we hope they’ll become? It’s such a privilege to play a part in the shaping of these men and women of God. And although we should never want to control our kids, or pressure them to live life our way, we do want them to know what is right, good, and God-pleasing. If our kids see us being bold and courageous now, they will hopefully one day remember that and it will encourage them to be the same.
How to be a Good Christian Mom to a Toddler
So, we’ve talked about being a courageous parent and some positive ways we can be bold in our decisions. But what else can we do to strive to be good Christian moms to our little growing toddlers?
One thing I’ve learned with my son is not to underestimate his capacity to understand things. When they are this little, it’s easy to assume they won’t understand, and so we tend to put off teaching certain things. But as I introduce more and more concepts to my son, I am so surprised at how quickly he actually picks it up.
Toddlers love to learn. Their faces just light up when they are learning something new. In my experience, they find learning to be fun. They can quickly get bored with toys, but showing them something new and different, no matter how small, is always a win.
So I think when it comes to being a good mom to a toddler, especially as it relates to teaching them the Word of God, one of the biggest tips is not to underestimate what they might understand. Introduce God early, teach them about Jesus early, show them the Bible early, pray with them early, and worship with them early.
Let’s look at some more Christian parenting tips for toddlers below.
Tips for Parents of Toddlers from a Christian Toddler Mom
Here are a few more tips for parents of toddlers:
- Don’t underestimate their capacity to learn. Don’t wait until they’re older.
- Remember the entire day can be an opportunity to teach about God, playtime included.
- Find ways to simplify complex Biblical concepts into basic, fun activities.
- Introduce Biblical terms and names to them; Bible, Jesus, Angel, Prayer, etc.
- Ask them to lead prayer, even if it’s just jibber jabber at first.
- Buy them a kiddie Bible to familiarize them with our Biblical history. My son uses The Beginner’s Bible.
- Read to them from an adult Bible. They don’t have to get everything for God’s living word to penetrate their heart.
- Play them worship music; it’s so adorable when they start singing the lyrics.
- Teach them to give thanks to God.
- This last one is for us moms: Be sure to regularly feed yourself spiritually so that you are prepared to teach, correct, and encourage them along their Christian walk as they grow.
Number 10 in this list is so important. It’s so easy to focus all of our energy and attention on our children, that we often neglect ourselves as moms. It’s a common challenge for mothers, and this is with all aspects so motherhood. We feed our kids first, bathe them first, make sure they’re entertained, and just are constantly looking after their well-being all around.
However, as they say, we cannot be our best selves for our families if we are neglecting ourselves. And this applies to our spiritual lives as well. And if you look at the list above, most of these things can be translated to apply to us moms as well.
- Don’t underestimate your capacity to learn new things; Christian Apologetics, for example. Apologetics can be intimidating but is a great way to build deeper faith.
- Use your entire day as an opportunity to spend time with God. I know how difficult it can be to find “extra” time to devote to God when you have toddlers.
- Find fun ways to simplify concepts you are struggling to understand. Join a Book club or Bible study. Take a course, or make a challenge for yourself.
- Don’t neglect your Bible reading and prayer life in the name of parenting. Find the time, even if it’s not the exact same time every day. Commit to your spiritual growth.
More Helpful Tips for Christian Parents
The more we do in the beginning to prepare for when our kiddos are older, the more ready we will be when the questions begin. Here are a few other ideas you can implement now while your babies are still little to get ready for those older years.
- Keep a journal of ready-to-go tough questions & answers.
- Take a free course. Biblicaltraining.org has some free Apologetics courses that you can take.
- Join a book club that focuses on topics that will excel your growth. Girl Talk Apologetics is a great group of women who meet once a week to discuss a book.
- Listen to fruitful podcasts. Alisa Childer’s podcast is a great one.
- Join a community of other parents also seeking answers and ideas on how to prepare. Apologetics for Parents is a great Facebook Group led by Natasha Crain, the author of Talking with Your Kids about God: 30 Conversations Every Christian Parent Must Have. I haven’t read her book yet, but it’s on my list.
The challenges of parenting in the 21st century can be overwhelming. However, by using some of the tips in this post, leaning on our Christian community, and certainly relying on God’s Word, we can persevere.
And with younger kids, especially toddlers, it’s easy to let this time slip by and not utilize it to teach them about the Gospel. But we should work with our toddler’s creativity, activeness, and curiosity to really start engaging them with the Word of God.