It’s a question we moms think about, talk about, and worry about…
How can I help my son draw closer to God?
We know how Jesus has transformed our lives and we want that for our boys—a deep, lasting faith that’s an unshakeable foundation, no matter what comes.
But sometimes our desire to help our sons draw closer to God does just the opposite: Our insistence on reading the Bible may come across as legalistic. Our suggestions for them to pray may be seen as nagging. Our questions about what they learned in church might come across as testing.
And actually, helping our sons draw closer to God has much more to do with how we live than what we say, anyway. 1 Peter 3:15 is a great guide:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” — 1 Peter 3:15
1. Revere the Lord.
To revere means to regard with respect tinged with awe. Does your attitude show the awe you have for God and what He’s done in your life? Simple, honest words about a beautiful day, your love for your family, or your gratefulness for blessings go a long way in inspiring our kids to recognize God’s goodness and His hand in our lives.
2. Be prepared to give an answer.
Do you know what you believe and why? If your son asks you tough questions about God, are you able to answer or point him to resources that can? Take time to study Christian Apologetics (see the resources at the bottom of this article), dig into tough questions, and understand other worldviews. Showing our sons that we are committed to critical thinking paves the way for them to do the same when they encounter tough questions, challenges, or doubts.
3. Have hope.
How do you handle heartache, conflict, and disappointment? Your example can show your son God’s power and peace working in your life, or it can make him doubt God’s involvement. (If you talk about how big God is, but don’t show that trust and hope in your actions, you may cultivate seeds of doubt.)
4. Give reasons.
Share your story with your son—how you came to know God and how He’s impacted your life. Your personal account of God’s intervention in your circumstances and why you believe in Him is more powerful than simply telling your son that God is real, or good.
5. Be gentle and respectful.
Approach is everything. God will work in your life, the lives of others, and the life of your son in different ways, at different times. Your son’s journey will not likely mirror yours and may ebb and flow as he grows. A mom who is gentle and respectful—open to listening and always loving—can show a son a true example of Jesus, instead of making that son feel like performance is key, or love is conditional.
Instead of trying to get your son to draw closer to God, inspire him by living and loving like Jesus. What an awesome, liberating thing to be able to impact the hearts of our boys simply by following Him.
Natasha Crain’s ChristianMomThoughts.com — be sure to check out her recent post about Why We Should Stop Giving Our Kids Christian Hope and her post 65 Apologetics Questions Every Christian Parent Needs to Learn to Answer
Genny is fueled by a passion to encourage women. She holds an MBA and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics and encourages women to find more joy and confidence in their faith. Her book Finding Mommy Bliss has helped moms from all walks of life discover more joy in their parenting. She’s also the co-founder of LIFT: Live Inspired, Fearless, Thriving.