9 Ways You can Influence Your Child’s Spiritual Growth

No doubt, a mom has the greatest influence on her child’s life. Either positively or negatively, how she lives her day to day life, has the power to bless or distress her child.

But, it’s not easy having this awesome responsibility of mom.

Just this morning I coached my eight year old through a melt down of epic proportions.

I stood my ground in the sweet face of a stubborn seven year old, whose will is often greater than mine.

I chased a naked two year old back into the house. Then found where he had kicked off his underwear and they landed on top of the fridge.

A bag of beads poured out, fingers slammed in the door, the toilet clogged, a glass jar smashed, the prickly pear attacked a hand, the dog killed a chicken, the boy peed out the window, glitter glue oozed onto the sofa, kool-aid dripped off the counter…

The day was turning out quite normal.

And with that ‘normal’, also comes a very tired, prone to crankiness, mom.

As I made my rounds tonight, praying over them and tucking them in, listening to their “I love you’s” and their “You’re the best mom ever’s”, I was brought back to the fact that they are soaking up every single thing I do and say.

How did I impact their life today?

Did my influence make Jesus beautiful to them? What are some ways that I can influence their spiritual lives even more?

9 Ways to Influence Your Child’s Spiritual Growth

1. Pray with them and for them.

Children learn best when led by example. How will they know that they can talk with the Lord if they don’t see you do it?

Join one of our 5-day mini Prayer Challenges:

I. 5 Prayers to Pray Over Your Son
II. 5 Prayers to Pray Over Your Daughter
III. 5 Prayers to Pray Over Your Teen

2. Read the Bible to them and for yourself.

Again, teach by example. Hearing you read the Bible to them will make the Lord’s Word sweet to them.

Seeing you read the Bible for yourself will show them that His word is relevant for all of life. It will also show them where you find your purpose and strength.

3. Be diligent in your duties.

Modeling perseverance in our tasks will teach our children to work hard and never give up, staying faithful to the end.

4. Show them you still love God by the way you handle a hard situation.

This can be as broad as how you handle slamming your fingers in a door, to how you handle that life event that rocks you to the core.

Showing them that you still place your trust in the Lord, will help your children want to find the same strength in Him. Speak of the ways His goodness and mercy sustain you.

5. Respect authority.

Traffic laws, tax laws, mortgage payments, bosses, and yes, even your your spouse; to such model due respect. There will always be an authority somewhere in our lives. Projecting respect for that authority, even when you don’t agree, will model a standard of humility.

6. Serve others cheerfully.

Whether its helping out a neighbor or serving your spouse and family, serving others cheerfully, will never show them how to begrudge someone their need.

Modeling cheerfulness in servant-hood sets the bar for your children to do the same. When they are the recipients of cheerful servant-hood, it helps them understand the significance of Christ’s attitude as described in Philippians 2.

7. Speak kindly to others and of others.

Help others with a glad heart. Life really isn’t about what we can get out of it.

Gossip erodes a human’s capacity to love and care.

Speaking kindly of others will teach your children to not assume the worst of others or God.

Speaking kindly to others, namely your children, will model the kindness and patience the Lord has toward us.

8. Smile more.

This just needs to happen.

God wants us to find enjoyment in life. So don’t walk around like you’ve been weaned on a pickle. (wink!)

Be a light in your home, modeling the warmth and hope God offers to us.

9. Listen.

How do you feel when you are unheard? I often find it hard to open up to the one who treats me as though my thoughts and feelings are minuscule.

By listening to what your children have to say, you model the fact that God invites us to bring our cares to Him and that He always hears us.

What our children see us do will becomes habit or second nature for them.

What we speak will become the internal voice that will influence them their whole life.

Our attitudes and responses toward our children will shape their view of the Lord.

Modeling Christ will make Him savory to your children, so lead them by worthy examples. Admit when you mess up. Realize your child’s spiritual growth journey will look different than yours. Do all you can to train and nurture them in the ways of the Lord, so that when they are grown they will recognize Him and seek to follow Him.

What are some practical ways you try to influence your child’s spiritual growth?


  1. Jennifer says:

    Such a good word here, my friend – even better the second time around! 😉 May we moms press ever closer to our Savior, for once we’re there, all else falls into place, doesn’t it? I’m glad you linked this up at G&T!

  2. Kelsey Ferguson says:

    Kaylene, this is SO good. I’ve been convicted of a lot of this, lately. We are in the midst of moving closer to my husband’s job, so we have been living at my parent’s house during the week and our old house on the weekends. We are all feeling the stress of an inconsistent routine. I could do a much better job at showing them Jesus through my mess.

    Thank you for this much-needed reminder. And thanks for sharing your “normal” day. It sounds a lot like mine, just with little ones. 🙂

  3. Melanie Redd says:

    This is really good, Kaylene!

    I can relate to this line, “Show them you still love God by the way you handle a hard situation.”

    My kids are in college, but they still notice how we handle difficult people. They also want to know how they should handle their challenging people.

    Thanks for so many practical suggestions on how to influence our kids for Christ.

    Found your post on Grace & Truth~

    Hope you have a blessed day today,

  4. Rebekah says:

    Great advice Kaylene!
    Your day sounds a lot like mine;) I was just thinking yesterday about some of the points you mentioned , especially listening. Thanks for the encouragement to be the influence in my kids life that I know God has called me to be!

  5. Courtney says:

    Thank you for this! I absolutely agree with everything! Letting our own relationship with Christ be a model for theirs is critical. I remember talking to my son about something that came up in his devotional one night. I said something about how it related to a point that I came across in my own Bible study that morning. He asked, “You study the Bible too?” I realized then that I need to worry less about making it a completely silent moment while they are still sleeping, and start letting him in on my quiet moments with God.

    Follow Mommy & Her Men on BlogLovin’

  6. Leslie Johnson says:

    I can already see how my 13 1/2 month old daughter is mimicking what I do. It’s kind of scary to know I have that much influence on how she acts. I know I need to do better with her, so I always turn to scripture. We read “Great Bible Stories for Children” which is a book I had as a child. I love sharing the stories of the Bible and the Word of God with her.

  7. Melanie Redd says:

    Hey Kaylene,

    Hope you are doing well this morning.

    I’m in your Bloggers Bootcamp, and I saw this link today. I’m sharing it with my Twitter friends.

    Just wanted you to know.

  8. Betsy de Cruz says:

    This is excellent, Kaylene! Such good reminders! Such a vivid picture of the reality of motherhood. Thanks for encouraging us that we can influence on kids in the day to day.

  9. Katie Westenberg says:

    I so needed this reminder today. In the messiness of the everyday I want to remember that I’m shaping hearts in all of it. Thanks for these practical examples. I’m ready to do this well today! 🙂

  10. Edwin mwiti says:

    Thanks Kaylene for this powerful teaching on how parents can influence their children. May God help the parents to realize the potential they have in shaping their children in season and out of season.

  11. Missy says:

    Im struggling with raising my teen son on my own. His father is in his life but has never been a big support to me as in he isn’t willing to compromise or help me in disciplining him. I’m desperately trying to make his last year at home a memorable one. I struggle with understanding him. He is hung up on video games, he’s an honor student not living up to his potential, he is depressed and I’m afraid if I take his video games the depression will get worse. He wants me to allow him to make his own choices since he’s leaving for college in less than a year but he has not shown me that he can prioritize and balance the game with real life responsibilities. I want to give up but I know I can’t. I pray for God to help but see nothing change. Please pray. Thank you.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Praying for your mother heart to be comforted and encouraged as you seek the Lord’s face in the midst of releasing your son into His care. I pray also that the Lord would grasp your son’s heart and set his desire on his Heavenly Father. Keep praying, dear mother! You are doing a mighty kingdom work!

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