“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17
I am blessed enough to be part of a family where I was taught about God’s love and word from infancy. The foundation of my faith is solid because it has been growing with me my entire life.
I can’t think back to a moment when I became a Christian or when I first learned about God. It’s just something that has always been a part of me. Looking back as an adult, I know that I have my mom and my grandparents to thank for that.
I want my son to grow up having that same view. I want him to be a follower of Christ for as long as he can look back and remember.
We all want our children to grow up to be good people and to make good choices, but it can be difficult to know what that means. 2 Timothy explains it to us in simple words:
“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All that is good, comes from God.
So how do we raise our children to be servants of God from infancy? How do we make sure that they leave our homes truly equipped for good work?
We can teach our babies about God’s love the same way that we teach them to talk, to walk, to eat, to play – we show them. By keeping God in your home, your little ones will naturally pick up on the lifestyle that you want them to live. As your child grows, so will his or her relationship with God.
Here are some ways that you can teach your infant about God’s love from the beginning.
Play Christian Music
Babies love to hear music and be sung to. Playing joyful, praising music will have the added bonus of teaching them about the Lord. On top of that, musical lyrics tend to stick in our minds even as we grow up. To this day, I don’t think that I can read or speak the verse “Love the Lord your God with all your heart..” without singing it!
Read Bible Stories
Just like music, babies love story time. You may be surprised how much your little one will take in from the stories that you read at bedtime. There plenty of Beginner Bible options that have short, easy stories perfect for fitting into your bedtime routine. Teaching your baby the basic stories behind scripture will give him or her a good base knowledge to allow for deeper study down the road.
Make Going to Church a Habit
Our 7-month-old son loves going to church already. Right now he loves it because there is a lot to looks at, he likes the music, and because he is the center of attention! Our church family has loved him with an unconditional love since before he was born. (How cool is that?!) As he grows up, I hope that he comes to love the church because it is a place of worship and togetherness.
Keep Jesus in the Holidays
It is so easy to get distracted by gifts, cute outfits, trying to see everyone, and photo opportunities. Don’t forget to teach your baby WHY we celebrate each holiday. This is easily done by using the three previously mentioned tools – songs, Bible stories, and church.
Add Prayer into Baby’s Daily Routine
Parents today are strongly encouraged to get their infants into a routine as quickly as possible. Babies thrive and grow when they have structure. If that structure includes prayer, your child will grow up in the habit of praying everyday. Start out easy by reciting a prayer at bedtime to soothe baby to sleep. When you have a toddler, lead him or her and ask for prayer requests. Teach your little one that prayer is interactive. Start his or her dialogue with God now.
Show Your Baby the Love of a Parent
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1
Young children do not understand the metaphorical loving arms of God the Father. They understand the physical embrace of an Earthly parent. Show your baby the unconditional, constant love of a parent now so that he or she will know what that feels like when Pastor talks about God’s fatherly love in Sunday school down the road.
Set a Good Example
Peanut is at the age now where he is learning to eat. Every time that he watches me put food into my mouth, he starts to motion like he is chewing! It’s funny, but he is just practicing. Our children learn how to do nearly everything by watching the people around them. Make sure that you are demonstrating the Christian habits that you want to see reflected by your little one.
Take Time to Maintain Your Relationship with God
On a similar note, you will need the strength of God and faith to live the life that you want your child to see. Being a parent is hard! We need His help now more than ever. Make sure that you take the time to focus on your relationship with God the same way that you focus on your relationship with your spouse. Set aside time for prayer, make a commitment, be consistent. (for me, using a prayer journal really helps. Sacred Intercession Prayer Journal)
Everything that you do with your baby leaves an impression. It is never too early to start creating the foundation upon which your child will build a relationship with the Lord our God.
Photo at the top of this article by Birth & Beyond by Kendall. Call her if you need maternity, newborn, or baby pictures taken in Southeast Wisconsin!! She’s fantastic.