The Key To Raising Faithful Kids

Do you ever worry about how to encourage faithfulness in your son or daughter? Teaching our kids to believe in Christ for life—and to live in a way that reflects those beliefs—feels like a daunting task. Thankfully, the Bible and modern research show us a great path forward. 

When we cradled our babies we would stare in awe, wondering how such a little creature might ever grow up to be a full-fledged adult. 

With toddlers under foot we simply try to keep up—with the running around and the jokes and the ever-changing emotions.  

While our kids grow like weeds we try to insert wisdom and quality time into the hustle and bustle. 

And when we pass our teens like ships in the night—I imagine, as we aren’t there quite yet—that we will hope we did our jobs well. We will hope that they have witnessed and experienced the love of God, and that they will choose to serve Him when they leave our home.

Thankfully, when it comes to building faithfulness in our one-day-adult-children, we can do more than hope. We can take action now to plant the seed of a faith-filled life. Let’s take a look at the life of David, the book of Psalms and current research for guidance. 

What Does it Mean to Be Faithful?

If we’re aiming for the same goal—encouraging faithfulness—it might help for us to make sure we’re all on the same page. What do we mean when we talk about raising faithful kids? defines faithfulness as “the fact or quality of being true to one’s words or commitments, as to what one has pledged to do, professes to believe, etc.” 

So a person who is faithful: 

  1. Does what he says he will do
  2. Acts based on what he says he believes

For Christians, there’s a really powerful distinction made between these two stated qualities of faithfulness. First that we keep our commitments. If we say we’re going to be there, we show up. If we make a vow, we keep it. You can trust the words that come out of our mouths. 

Challenging at times, no doubt, but doable. Right? 

Related Content: Young David: King Episode

It’s the second distinction of faithfulness that really calls Christians to the mat. We’re to act in a way that reflects our belief in God and the Bible. We love our neighbors as ourselves. We rest in and rely on God’s goodness. You can trust the character of our hearts. 

Faithfulness asks us humans—who are flawed and who absolutely make mistakes—to walk out the truth of our words and our beliefs. That’s a tall order for adults, much less children! 

Of course, it always helps to keep the right perspective in mind: our kids are growing and learning—and oftentimes, we’re growing and learning right along with them. Grace is available to us all! 

God’s Love Makes Faithfulness Possible

Okay, so us mere mortals want to be faithful in word and deed—and we want to teach our kids to do the same. Thankfully, God’s love makes a faith-filled and acted-upon life possible. 


God is faithful to us. He keeps His promises. He does what He says He will do. And He always acts in a way that reflects His core values and beliefs. 

The Bible is rife with stories of God coming through on His Word: 

  • Abraham becomes the father of many nations
  • Moses brings the Isrealites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land
  • Joseph serves as Pharoah’s right hand man
  • David slays Goliath
  • Elizabeth becomes pregnant
  • Mary gives birth to the son of God

What’s more: I can think of examples from my own life—and you no doubt can think of examples from yours. Moments where you prayed and trusted and asked and God showed up. He is faithful. Because of this, we can be faithful. 

The question becomes: Do your kids know about these stories? Do they know of God’s faithfulness in the Bible? Do they know how he’s shown up in your life? Do they wonder about moments in their own lives and how God’s intervention may have played a role?

Young David Paints a Beautiful Picture of Faithfulness

In the latest episode of our new show on the life of adolescent David, kids can explore the idea of faithfulness in light of God’s love. 

Here we find Young David playing hide-and-go-seek with his sheep. Just as a dangerous storm rolls in, one of his sheep runs off into the mountains. David insists on going to rescue the sheep, against the advice of his older brother, who understandably worries for David’s safety. 

It is at this moment that David responds, “It’s my job to take care of the sheep. It’s God’s job to take care of me.” David trusted that he could confidently go into the unknown, keeping his word as the master of the sheep and facing real fear and danger, trusting that God would protect him and keep him safe. 

I love to think of this story with Psalm 23 in mind. We’ll share it here in the New Readers International Version, which is written in a simple translation that kids can easily understand: 

“The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need. He lets me lie down in fields of green grass. He leads me beside quiet waters. He gives me new strength. He guides me in the right paths for the honor of his name. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid. You are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff comfort me. You prefare a feast for me right in front of my enemies. My cup runs over. I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. And I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” 

In other words: I will be faithful because God is faithful. 

How to Put These Truths Into Action 

A few weeks ago, after spending time with extended family out of state, my own little family arrived back home and unpacked. Among our dirty clothes and car snacks and trinkets from grandparents, sat a bag with long-forgotten papers—sent by my mom. 

We looked through them all—my elementary school essays, leaf rubbing prints, and a journal with daily prompts from my second grade teacher. And it was in those journals that we spotted a funny trend: I wrote about God–a lot: how good He was to me, how much He loved me, that I knew I could count on Him. 

Now, let me tell you. These journal entries were corny as all get out and definitely made me wonder who I was trying to please with what I wrote. Still. To this day, I know God is good, I believe He loves me and I am sure I can count on Him. I feel it in my bones. 

You know what else I feel in my bones? The need to convey this message to my own children in a way that I haven’t quite yet. 

From the story of David, we learn that it’s God’s love and care for us that enables us to care and love for others with a steadfast commitment and ultimate trust in Him. And we can encourage this in our kids by first practicing it ourselves. We can set the example. 

As a parent, this might mean saying, out loud in front of your kids, “It’s my job to take care of you/love my neighbors/listen for His call. It’s God’s job to take care of me.” 

And then, after you say those words, live them. Maybe you take a new job or move in faith. Perhaps you have a difficult conversation, make room at your table for someone in need or take your family to church even when you’re tired. Let your kids see you do what you say you’ll do and act on your beliefs. 

Then, take time to call out the goodness of God. Discuss the ways He cares for your family. Talk about how He showed up in your life before they arrived on the scene, and how He’s done so since. 

You might even openly discuss a hope, desire or need that only God can answer—a request for guidance that only He can provide. Then, when He does come through, celebrate it. Talk about God’s goodness. Put His faithfulness on display. Say: “See! We can be faithful to God because we know He will be faithful to us!” 

And take heart that these words are so much more than just words. A 2020 study from Lifeway Research found that kids who received spiritual guidance from their parents were more likely to remain faithful and engaged followers of Christ as they grew up.  

And it’s not just that. The same commitment to the faith was found in kids who attended church regularly, or who routinely read the Bible and prayed with their families. The research is clear: an early intention toward helping your kid see God’s goodness through the lens of Scripture, community and family build the foundation for a lifetime of faithfulness. 

This is our hope for our children—that they will know God’s love and choose to serve Him even as they grow up and leave our families to start their own.