Can Arts and Crafts Make Christian Parenting Easier?

Wouldn’t it be nice if Christian parenting were easy? If you could just snap your fingers and rest assured that your children would be faithful, productive Christians as adults? Life would be so much better! Unfortunately, living in a fallen world means nothing is easy. There are things you can do, however, that will make your Christian parenting more effective and thereby, a bit easier.

Effective Christian parenting requires spending a lot of quality time with your kids. If you are all just looking at your phones and IPads though, not much of consequence is happening. You don’t want to lecture your kids, so what are some things you can do with them that help teach them some important Christian life skills and work on Christian character traits?

Surprisingly, one of the best choices is rather old school. Arts and crafts provide lots of benefits for you and your children. Crafting has been found to reduce tension, edginess and anxiety by 50%. What family couldn’t use something that made everyone a bit calmer?!

Even better, doing arts and crafts projects can help your kids work on their patience and perseverance. If you and your children are working on a project that takes a lot of effort or multiple sessions to complete, it can also help them develop a strong, biblical work ethic.

One study found that happiness results from feelings of being able to do things independently, becoming competent at something and doing things with others. Family arts and crafts projects can provide those elements. Yes, Christianity focuses on the joy that is found in Christ regardless of our circumstances, but it’s okay to have a little healthy happiness in your home, too.

Want to really up your Christian parenting game? Find arts and crafts projects that can also be used to serve others. Find ways to share your faith and encourage those who receive your finished projects. Your kids will find meaning and purpose as they grow to better understand the mission and ministry God has planned for them.

Don’t have a lot of money for supplies? Check out coupons for craft stores and yard sales. Find someone who already participates in the art or craft in which you are interested and see if they have some extra supplies they would be willing to give your kids. (Word to the wise. Don’t spend a ton of money on supplies for any one art or craft category until you are sure your kids are definitely going to pursue it long term! There are lots of ways to try a new craft without purchasing every possible supply. Kits are often a good way to experiment without a huge investment.)

Have fun with it. Set aside special times where everyone works on projects together or does a family project. Who knows? It really may make your Christian parenting job a bit easier!

Will You Help Us Help More Christian Parents?

I don’t have to tell you that Christian parenting can be hard. And isolating. And scary. It helps to know someone is willing to walk beside you and help and encourage you – even if you need it at two in the morning. That’s why I began Parenting Like Hannah. So any parent, anywhere could get the encouragement and advice they needed – at any time – day or night. I have been there myself and wanted to create something I wish I had had when our daughter was younger.

Hopefully, many of you have found a post that you needed to encourage you or help you solve a parenting dilemma. The problem with Parenting Like Hannah is that it is only available in English. Which means Christian parents in other countries can’t easily understand our posts. While bits of parenting are cultural, much more is cross cultural than most people realize – especially since Christian parenting is counter cultural by definition. Christian parents in other countries could benefit from our posts – if they were available in their language.

Parenting Like Hannah and its parent ministry (Teach One Reach One Ministries) have a unique opportunity to change all of that. With a little help from you, parents who speak any one of over 100 languages will be able to see posts translated for them at the touch of a button!

That’s right! When Parenting Like Hannah and Teach One Reach One Ministries began, we had no idea God would bless these ministries the way He has. We have shared resources and taught seminars around the U.S. and in multiple countries. What has held us back from helping even more people is the lack of resources in other languages. A new website re-do will give us that and so much more.

For those of you familiar with our parent ministry website, you will love the enhanced stability and improved organization – making it much easier to find what you need quickly. There will be lots of other improvements – both in the inner workings of the site and for users. Many of these enhancements will also improve the Parenting Like Hannah experience.

For a site as complex and with as many resources as ours, we will need to basically finance a full time developer/programmer for 6-9 months. We have done our research and found a company we believe is best suited to help us achieve our goals. A generous donor has agreed to fund ¼ of the project, but we need your help raising the remainder.

We will be posting more financial details in our private Facebook group today. You can donate through our Facebook fundraiser or by going to our Teach One Reach One Ministries website and clicking on the donate button (PayPal). ( While we love our major donors, we also need those donors who can spare $5 to help us reach our goal. Your gift will help Christian parents around the world get the same support from Parenting Like Hannah that you have received in their own language. Please keep our fundraising in your prayers and join us in helping other parents if you can!

Creating Time for Christian Parenting

If you are a Christian parent, hopefully your top priority is for your kids to spend eternity in Heaven. For years and years, we pretended like we didn’t know why some kids grew up to be faithful, productive Christians while children from what seemed like similar homes rejected God/the Church as adults or were lukewarm Christians.

Thanks to groups like Barna, we now have lots of empirical data. There is research to back up the importance of much of what many Christian parenting experts have been recommending for years. There are definitely things parents can do that dramatically improve the chances that their children will grow up to be faithful, productive Christians. Now we know what many of those things are. (Granted most were already in scripture.)

When I share some of these things with parents of children and teens, inevitably at least one person is brave enough to admit that they won’t be doing many of those things because they are “too busy”. I imagine a lot more parents are thinking the same thing – they just aren’t brave enough to tell me to my face!

There is a secret about time that they are failing to consider. We all have the same twenty four hours in a day. The same seven days in a week. Why are some Christian parents able to find the time to do the things their kids need to develop a strong faith foundation, while others can’t seem to find the time to do even some of the very basics?

The truth is that time management is about choices. It’s considering your priorities and making the choices that allow your priorities to be addressed adequately. Let’s assume your priorities are in line with those God has for your family. Are you making choices that reflect those priorities or are your choices actually indicating something else is actually more important to you than your children spending eternity in Heaven?

In Bible times, women spent two hours a day grinding grain by hand. They spent an additional eight hours in food chores. That’s equivalent to a full time job that we can knock out with a ten minute run to the grocery store or picking up take out food. Who knows how many more hours they spent on other household chores like laundry, that required intense, focused labor (unlike pushing some buttons and doing whatever we want until the load is finished).

I can’t find anything in scripture to indicate that Mary and Joseph were too busy to teach Jesus and his siblings what God wanted them to know. Or attend worship and Bible study opportunities. Or mold their children’s character and attitudes.

It also seems like at least some of the mothers of the Apostles also followed Jesus. For all of their confusion in the early years of Jesus’ ministry, James, John and others had obviously been raised in homes that made serving God a priority – even when it wasn’t easy or convenient.

Have every member of your family keep a time log for a week or two. No cheating! If you play Candy Crush for an hour, you have to write it down. God doesn’t say we can’t work or have fun. What He does demand is that how we spend our time reflects our priorities – which should reflect His. We can’t say our top priority is our children spending eternity in Heaven and then spend less than an hour a week in actively teaching and coaching them to be who God wants them to be.

This is a tough post. It forces you to be brutally honest with yourself. God already knows the truth – whether you admit it or not. To align your priorities with God, you may have to make some really tough choices. We talk about our faith being strong in the face of persecution, but is it strong enough to withstand the assault from the things we enjoy doing more or believe we need to do because they are more important? Do the work so your kids will have the foundation they need to make choices that will lead to them spending eternity in Heaven.

Top 5 Christian Parenting Hacks

Parenting is tough. Christian parenting is even tougher because you are parenting against your culture in many ways. The stakes are so high, the pressure can become overwhelming at times. Parents often want to know what are some basic things they can do to start their family down the right track. There are probably dozens of things that can help, but which will make the most difference if you feel lost in a maze of parenting advice?

My list might change slightly if you ask me again tomorrow, but here are five great things to get your Christian parenting on track.

  1. Daily family devotional times. You can’t go wrong spending time together reading scripture, discussing it and praying together as a family. If you haven’t been doing this, it’s okay to start small. At the same time every day (and connected to something you always do, like a meal), start with reading a verse or two, asking your kids what it means and how they can use the verse that day and praying together.
  2. Attending worship and Bible classes weekly and in person. This is crucial for so many reasons. If you are regularly missing worship services and Bible classes or only watching online, your kids aren’t going to have the strong faith they need to make it through life.
  3. Sleep 9-12 hours a night. That’s right. Even through the teen years, your kids need an average of 9-12 hours of sleep a day. They will make better choices, have improved moods and your job will be easier. Want to really improve things? Get 8-9 hours of sleep a night yourself. Everyone can take naps if they need extra hours, but I promise sufficient sleep can be transformative.
  4. Eating daily meals together as a family and periodically with family and friends. One of the Nordic countries believes their children never stray far from the beliefs of their parents. Why? Breakfast and dinner are eaten together at the table, as a family. Every day. Regardless. Secular studies show that kids who eat daily meals with their families are much less likely to participate in high risk behaviors. Want to raise kids to be faithful, active, productive Christians? A study found that one of the keys is hospitality. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Having your children’s friends over or extended family counts. Just open your doors to others on a regular basis.
  5. Long daily family walks. Want kids who are healthier, happier and talk to you more? Take a long daily walk together. A social worker I met called these walks “magical”. Aim for about 5k or 3 miles to also benefit things like sleep. If you can’t go the distance yet, even a few blocks can start yielding minor benefits.

If you feel like you are struggling with your parenting, starting with these five basics can help you get on track. Then search our blog for other topics where you could use some additional advice. You can raise faithful, productive Christians!

Do Your Kids Feel Needed at Church?

Having godly self esteem is a challenge. Adults have shifted back and forth from being super critical of children to making them believe they are practically perfect in every way. Most congregations would say they value the children and teens that attend, but they don’t always act that way. Young people are often siloed away from the adults in special areas for classes and some, if not all, of worship. They rarely see adults, much less develop meaningful familial and mentoring relationships with them.

Perhaps even more harmful, they are made to feel superfluous. The adults take all of the active roles in worship and service. Often children especially are barred from participating in service and other ministry efforts, while teens are given a marginal role at best.

Contrast this to the real world, where schools often encourage students to take leadership roles in every area of school life. Charities often have special roles for children and teens to develop the next generation of volunteers. Young people are encouraged to share ideas and develop their own service and leadership projects.

Children and teens may not be able to express it well, but they are made to feel useless and even unwanted in many churches. They are aware adults put little effort into their classes and they aren’t learning much of importance. No wonder many leave at the first opportunity for something that makes them feel they add value to being there.

Is your church guilty of marginalizing children and teens? Speak up. Volunteer to develop a system for involving them in more meaningful ways. If your church pushes back, encourage your children to develop their own ministry opportunities in their lives. Support them in their efforts to serve others and share their faith. Reassure them God wants them to be involved in their local congregation. Encourage them to keep trying to participate or develop opportunities to serve and share their faith and invite other Christians to join them. Whatever you do, don’t let your kids believe their congregation doesn’t need them to be involved. Because whether church leaders realize it or not, they do need your kids.