Psalm 8:2 ESV® says, “Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.” The same verse in the NLT uses the word “silencing.”
When children declare the truth of God, it stills and silences the enemy. It’s a powerful discipline we can model for them and equip them with. Their words have power.
I declare truth over my children so they can learn to declare truth when I’m not there. I want to live for Jesus so boldly and beautifully that they want His very truth for themselves.
Need practical ideas for declaring truth with our kids—both at home and in church?
As a mother and leader, I use the following examples to teach my children—Case, 4, and Knox, 1—how to declare truth over their lives. I use each of these throughout the day as needed. Truth goes with us no matter what life brings. And like we are taught in Deuteronomy 6, it’s a 24/7 kind of thing.
Affirmations are a great way to help children declare the truth of God. They can be done in groups or 1-on-1. Affirmations are positive reminders of what is true about God and each of His kids.
To facilitate, I say a statement that they repeat. Here’s one example:
“I am strong. I am kind. I am gracious. I am loved. Mommy loves me. Daddy loves me. Jesus loves me. God knows me. The Holy Spirit leads me. I am a child of God. I will not fear. For He is with me. And He is for Me. And tonight is going to be a goooooooood night.”
Sometimes my 4-year-old will look me in the eyes and tell me it’s time for mine. Then he speaks, and I repeat.
Other days he adds funny words because he’s 4 and laughter is good for the soul. And, honestly, sometimes he tells me no and covers his ears … at which point I say the affirmations anyway. They are truth, no matter if he is in the mood to hear them or not.
In recent past, I’ve had people question the use of “the Holy Spirit leads me” with my young children, who haven’t yet fully grasped who Jesus is and what He accomplished for them.
My answer? I fully believe in telling my children who they were created to be and all they have access to with God. Whether or not they choose to lean into that truth is up to them, but I will never be the one to withhold the truth of who God is and what He offers to them. Why would I ever want to?
Other ways I declare truth over my kids is through prompting questions. For example, when we are in the car, I ask questions like:
“Case, what do we know to be true about Jesus? What do we know He says about us?”
He’ll respond, “He loves us even when we’re mad!”
We’ll iterate and quote Scriptures or recall stories in the Bible. We’ve seen God move in big ways, and we talk about those things as well.
We’ve experienced a lot this year alone. In April, Case choked, unable to breathe, and by God’s grace the right people were in the room at the right time. In June, I was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery, thankful that the pain came when it did. There’s more, but those are our moments to share for now.
When the time comes and my kids are older, there are other stories I will tell them about my life. And what I know to be true about Jesus because of the abounding grace that He has shown me—and still shows me. Because He is consistent, faithful, and true.
The same prompts can be used in our church groups with appropriate vulnerability. We can remind kids of the truth of God and equip parents with the language to do the same. They can walk this faith journey hand-in-hand with their kids.
When we share Scriptures for memorizing, we should also give examples of how and when our children can say them, while equipping parents.
For example, let’s say Matthew 28:20 was the Scripture verse for the month. It’s important that we not only teach kids the words, but we should share how they can shout them out!
Model it for them. Say something like:
“When you’re joyful or sad or maybe lonely because a friend doesn’t want to play, remember these words from Jesus and say them out loud. Let’s say them together now: ‘I am with you ALWAYS!’”
Remind children that we can trust Jesus and believe what He says with our whole hearts.
When I speak blessings over my children, whether from Scripture or my soul, I look them square in the eyes. I say these words over them because they have access to the same heavenly authority that I do. I may say this in the morning:
“May you know that Jesus is with you always, and He loves you more than you could ever imagine. May you feel His presence today, and may His voice be the loudest in the room. May you stand in confidence as God’s kid sharing His grace with those who encounter you. May you be bold in all that is of and from Him.”
At first, it’s uncomfortable, but when you see the life it brings, you won’t want to stop. I believe in it so much so that I speak blessings over the congregation I serve each Sunday as we dismiss.
I ask myself this all the time:
What am I modeling for my kids? Do they see me soaking in the truth I speak?
Do they see me living it out?
In the big and small, it’s important we communicate God’s truth.
We must live for Jesus the same way we want them to—with boldness and humility. I think about this often in the correction of my children:
How am I pointing my child to the truth of the gospel in these daily interactions?
Am I a safe place in the small things so that I can one day be trusted to speak truth in the big?
We don’t have to put on a show for the kids we serve. We don’t have to pretend to be anything we are not or know anything that we don’t. We simply must walk with Jesus.
Parents and leaders, we can do this!
As my kids grow, I’ll likely begin declaring truth with notes in lunchboxes and words that find them on mirrors and in cars. It will change as they leave my home and run their journeys as adults. But no matter the stage you are in, we can do this. We can minister to our children.
And remember, when our littlest ones begin declaring truth, their voices still and silence the enemy.
More Ideas and Insight for Your Church
You can find more insights and ideas for family engagement in our free guide: What If We’re Failing Kids at Faith Formation? (And How Not To).