How can parents teach their young children about God?


One of the greatest parental responsibilities is to TEACH their children about God. In fact, God Himself is quoted in the Bible when He spoke of Abraham, saying:

‘For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him’” (Genesis 18:19).

The Authorized Version is even more emphatic, stating: “For I know him, THAT he WILL command his children… and they SHALL keep the way of the LORD…” Similar the NIV.

When God chose and redeemed Israel from Egyptian captivity, He commanded that the people should love Him with total commitment and that their children should be taught to do the same:

“‘Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates’ “ (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Christians also face the great challenge set forth by God to teach their children about Him, as Ephesians 6:4 states:

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

Quite obviously, teaching children requires a conscious commitment from parents, and that dedication should, where possible, begin before children are born. Couples planning to marry ought to prepare by discussing child-rearing goals and methods. For those who already have children, planning and preparations are still a necessity. As shown in the preceding biblical quotes, parents must, themselves, be anchored in the Word of God to teach their children properly and successfully.

The purpose of this Q&A is to address training young children about God and the Bible, and that training begins with the example of the parents.

Many parents wait longer than they should to begin teaching their children about God. They assume that small children are not ready until a point well beyond when they could—and should—have started teaching their children the basics about God and His Way of Life. Never forget that children are most impressionable at their youngest age.

At what age should we start teaching the Scriptures to our children? God’s Word should be an important and natural part of life from very early childhood on. We expect small children to grow up learning songs, stories, the names of colors and the sounds animals make. Why not take advantage of the incredible, sponge-like learning capacity of a small child and start planting the most important seed of all—God’s instructions—within them?

Here are some strategies for teaching the Bible itself. The Bible is a large book, and to introduce its study to our children, we must first present it in small, manageable portions according to their age level. Decide what subjects you wish to cover and think about how to present them in a user-friendly way. You may choose to cover a topic over several sessions. Focus on presenting important biblical teachings that they can use throughout their lives. Examples could include the Creation, the Exodus, the Ten Commandments, the life of David, Jesus Christ, lessons from the various “heroes” of the Bible, and as they get older, proofs of God’s existence and the history of the New Testament Church.

How much time should we spend per session? Find the balance in setting a time that is neither unreasonably long, nor so short that it gives the impression God’s Word is a low priority in our day. For instance, how long can a preschooler sit to watch a television show or hear a story read to them? How long can an elementary-age child sit to listen to a teacher read a book?

Before launching into your teaching session, take a few minutes to do your “homework.” Preview the lesson and compile your ideas.

Here are some suggestions and recommendations to help set up your Bible curriculum. Certainly, there are many other ideas that you, the parents, will have.


There are many good materials to read, but ultimately there is no substitute for the Bible itself. You cannot go wrong by starting in Genesis and reading on through the Bible. Alternate methods are also fine. For young children, consider skipping over long lists such as genealogies, or briefly summarizing them. You may also want to paraphrase some passages, putting them into your own words in simple language your child can understand, instead of reading the text as written. Your reading will become much more effective as you add your own comments to the passages you read. Ask questions to make them think (this is very important). Tell a little story that gets a point across. Act out the scenario. Anything you add along these lines is well worth the effort.

Whenever your child learns to read, present him or her with a Bible of his or her own. In order for our children to learn the Bible and become familiar and comfortable with handling it, they need to have one! It should be a true Bible (such as the New King James Bible), not a pseudo-Bible or children’s story-book-type volume. It should contain all the same Scriptures a regular Bible has. Thumb tabs are also very helpful for children to find books faster.

As the child becomes a more proficient reader, the publications of the Church of the Eternal God will serve as helpful study aids for parents. Bible atlases, Bible dictionaries and other reference materials can be introduced to the youth. In turn, parents can summarize important concepts in terms appropriate to their children’s learning level.


Memorizing is a normal part of life for a child—from the alphabet to nursery rhymes to state capitals. It should be a normal part of life to memorize the most important information of all—God’s Words. Memorizing specific Scriptures and learning what they mean can be fun. A child is ready to start memory work by the age of three. Start by choosing short verses to learn. This will build your child’s confidence. Teach them one phrase or word from the verse at a time. Say a word (or phrase), then point to your child to supply the next word.

Show your child where the verse is found in the Bible. Mark their Bible with a special color to identify verses they have memorized. Say the book, chapter and verse, before and after the Scripture. Recite the verse several times a day in your child’s presence so that it becomes familiar to them. Do not simplify the verses. It is important to teach God’s Word as it is recorded. Clarify any words they don’t understand.

It is not wrong to offer an age-appropriate reward. Make the rewards immediate if possible. Rewards could include small treats, prizes, stars on a chart, a trip to the store, or special time with mom or dad. Having them share their accomplishment by reciting it to someone else (grandparents, teacher, etc.) is very beneficial, too. Children like to feel they have accomplished something.


As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Some Bible resource books (Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, etc.) contain good diagrams or pictures. A word of caution regarding pictures, however: A child’s mind is very impressionable, and a picture can stick in the mind for a long time. This also goes for adults. We should avoid using pictures such as those that depict God the Father, Jesus Christ [either when He was here on earth, as a Man, or in His present state as an immortal God Being], Satan the Devil, angels or demons, and men with long hair (except for Nazarites).


Props are a great teaching aid. A complete interactive felt or flannel board teaching system used to teach and tell both Old and New Testament Bible stories is an excellent tool for illustration. This makes the Bible story come to life and lets the child interact and become part of the story—giving the child a chance to use his senses of hearing (listening to the story being read or told), seeing and touching. You can easily create a felt board by simply gluing a large piece of felt to a rectangular piece of cardboard. Have the children draw or color pictures of Bible characters and props onto heavy paper or poster board, cut them out, and then place Velcro adhesive on the back of each piece. The kids will love it! Also, you can purchase the felt board projects at your local Bible Book Store or Online but be sure to remove items that are inappropriate.


Starting with the beginning of the Bible, you may want to consider having your child start a timeline of the sequence of the major events you are reading about through the Bible. You could provide a short roll of paper to make a continuous timeline that can be rolled up later. Children could draw and color pictures they have created on this timeline.


The beginning of the child’s prayer life is essentially an activity. A mother might ask the question: “When shall I begin to teach my little child to pray?” This question should be met by another: “When do you intend to start teaching your little child a language?” If the father and mother kneel by the child’s bed long before he can notice consciously what is happening, the child grows up during this event: “Mom and dad speaking to Someone whom they respect and love and cannot see.” Let your child see you praying. Children learn by example.

Our children and grandchildren need to understand that we, as Christian parents and grandparents, talk to God in prayer on a regular basis. Asking a blessing at mealtime, prayer of anointing for illness and prayers given at Church services provide important examples of our relationship with God. These illustrations become a Way of Life.


Using other Bible materials from the Internet can be very helpful, if they adhere to the Truth and correct doctrines, but parents must be careful to closely monitor what they use.

Make this a pleasant time for the child. By making it special, we are showing we place special value on God’s Word and the privilege of studying it. Pick an area with a table, if possible, where the setting and atmosphere are clearly “study time” and minimize distractions. Clear the table of clutter. Leave the television, their computer or their “devices” off and mute distractions such as cell phones. Be sure to begin each study session with a brief prayer together, asking for God’s help in understanding His Word.

These recommendations are suggestions as a starting point for prospective parents, parents, and grandparents. Understanding that God created humankind to eventually become part of His eternal Family makes the training of our children one of life’s most important and rewarding endeavors!

Lead Writer: Dave Harris

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