Showing God to your infants & toddlers

Posted on November 9, 2013 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting, Worldview


Parents often ask how can they make God real to their toddlers. Living Deuteronomy 6:5-7 is a start. This passage provides a mandate to talk to all of your children about God all the time. 

The common emphasis given to this passage focuses on the beginning of verse seven: “Impress them on your children.” or “teach them diligently.” But verse seven is the outcome of the directions from verses five and six. These words urge that God is to be loved so passionately that his commands will be on the hearts of his people. Once this heart infusion of the love of God takes place the result will be that the love for God’s commands will overflow from the mouth of those teaching and into the lives of their children. This is not mere information transfer. This is being so in love with God and his commands that this becomes the focal point of conversations with children on a 24/7 basis.

So, what does this have to do with toddlers and infants? In the crush of life it is possible to go hours if not days and not talk about God and how special he is. This is particularly true with the very young who are not yet engaging in back and forth verbal communication. This is exactly what Deuteronomy is telling parents to avoid. There must not be huge gaps of time when God is not talked about. (If you think this is just an Old Testament concept look at passages like I Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:16-17.)  

The reason these gaps of time should not exist is because there is never even a millisecond when God is not actively caring for you. Indeed, your next breath and your toddler’s next breath only happens if God makes it so.  The wonder and hope of God’s involvement in your life needs to be a big deal to you. I am not talking about engaging in non-stop systematic theological discourse. I am simply saying that expressions about the wonder of God should never be far from our heart and our mouth. Why? Because God is never far from you!

Here are some examples:

Mommy is so thankful to God for you, even when you have a stinky diaper.

Sweetheart, the sun is so warm and bright, God made it that way for us.

I know you are hungry, I am so thankful that God will take care us and give us the food we need.

Mommy is praying right now that God will make you feel better.

Wow that was fun. It is so neat that God made us so that we can have fun together.

Look at al the pretty colors. God is so special!

That was close! Thank you God for taking care of us.

You see, I am not talking about rocket theology here. Just a 24/7 acknowledgment that every second of every minute in your life and in your child’s life is given to you by God. This is one way to show the glory of God to your kids.

Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.