3 Powerful Ways to Show Christian Encouragement to Your Children

resources stewardship of family Jul 02, 2023
3 Powerful Ways to Show Christian Encouragement to Your Children

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5:11


One characteristic of a healthy family is the presence of regular encouragement. This goes for adults as well as children. Many parents realize their own need for an encouraging word but can lack awareness that their children require it as well. Teachers, coaches, and friends can often supply this but as parents, we should strive to be our children’s chief encouragers. This also means that we take great care to avoid discouraging our children.

One obvious way to do this is to simply acknowledge and build up our children’s natural giftedness. We often tell Leah that she’s an amazing caregiver. She loves taking care of others, especially children. When her siblings are sick, she will bring them water, a blanket, or other special things that they may need to feel comfortable. We thank Cole for jumping right up and doing things with a cheerful attitude and obedient heart. We mention to Lexi how we notice that she is being a patient teacher when she shows Lily how to do something, or spends time reading with her. And we compliment how hardworking and kind Lily is when she draws and colors pictures for others to enjoy. This kind of encouragement is easy to implement because noticing and mentioning these things to our children takes very little effort on our part, but pays huge dividends in the hearts of our kids.


Encourage them in the faith

We say this a lot on our blog, but the concept bears repeating: Parents are given the great privilege of discipling their children. We are to teach them the Word of God and study it together, eventually showing them how to dig into the Scriptures on their own. We can show them by example how to go to the Bible when we have questions and offer opportunities and resources to study it more thoroughly as they grow. We want to play the long game: focusing on establishing the daily habits of faithfulness that they will use for the rest of their lives.


Encourage the use of their strengths

Most children are bent toward specific strengths and interests that manifest during childhood. Making sure that kids have the time and opportunity to pursue and develop their own specific gifts is a great way that parents can support this process (and of course, giving praise and encouragement as they grow!). Books, classes, and summer camps are excellent resources for things like art, sports, drama, coding, mathematics, writing skills, and music. Finding ways to utilize a child’s strengths in a volunteer capacity can improve the use of their gifts while also giving back to their church, school, or community. Our son loves science and engineering, so we sent him to a space camp during the summer. One of our daughters has been volunteering at a local gym daycare because she loves taking care of little ones. 


Encourage them through challenges

Just because a child has specific strengths, they are not guaranteed to be continually successful in a particular field. The greatest athletes fumble goals and shots, and the most accomplished musicians miss notes. It’s vital that our children understand that failure is not the enemy of success, but rather one of its necessary teachers. We want to provide a home where kids are not afraid to fail, but are able to learn from such failures when the inevitable occurs. At the end of the day, we don’t want a temporary setback to become a permanent discouragement.

Allowing our children to fail when they are small is a way of protecting them: The stakes are small and the losses are low. As they learn and grow through failure, they are able to either bypass failing in a similar way as adults - because they’ve learned how to be successful - or view a failure later in life as a growing experience that can be turned into a positive. The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey is an excellent resource on this topic.



A parent’s words are powerful. They have a tremendous impact on children’s current and future lives, either for the positive or the negative (and often both). It’s important that parents be intentional about how they respond to their children’s successes and failures because the child will be learning and internalizing those reactions. Ultimately, parents should strive to model encouragement and joy, which in turn will build up their children and show them how to behave in a similar matter when they’re the ones raising their own families.


Key Points

  • Parental encouragement of children in their faith is critical not only for this generation but also for future generations.
  • Children should not be fearful of their parents’ reactions, but be confident in their encouraging words, both in times of failure and success.

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