How to Cultivate Your Children’s Faith at Home

by Matthew Chicoine
In the fast-paced world we live in, finding time to teach our children about our faith can be a challenge. Yet, the home is not only where we live, but also where we shape the spiritual foundation of our children. People often say that the family acts as the domestic church. Here, the first seeds of faith take root, and our children learn to pray and nurture their relationship with God. In this blog post, we'll explore the concept of micro-evangelization, focusing on those little moments that can have a profound impact on our children's faith journey.

The Home as the Domestic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph #2685, beautifully articulates the significance of the family as the first place of education in prayer: "The Christian family is the first place of education in prayer. Based on the sacrament of marriage, the family is the 'domestic church' where God’s children learn to pray 'as the Church' and to persevere in prayer.” Building on the grace of Baptism, where children become part of the Body of Christ, parents hold a unique responsibility to nurture their children's faith.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta's words, "We must not separate our life from the Eucharist. The moment we do so, something shatters," ring true. As parents, we have the power to help our children understand the beauty of the Eucharist, the source and summit of the Christian life. Rather than presenting Mass attendance as an obligation, consider reframing it as a gift. Replace "have to" with "get to," for instance, saying, "We GET to go to Mass today!" This shift in perspective transforms Mass from a chore to a cherished opportunity to receive God's grace.

Tell, Show, Do: Teaching Through Example
The educational framework of "Tell, Show, Do" is a powerful tool for passing on the faith. It involves explaining concepts, demonstrating them, and encouraging practical application. An example of this approach can be seen in teaching children about the Communion of Saints. A few months ago, I noticed a picture of a hedgehog taped to my living wall. It was drawn by my oldest daughter. Upon asking her to tell me about the image, her face lit up: "His name is Goldie!". Her devotion to her hedgehog mirrors our devotion to saints. Children often develop strong attachments to toys or objects. This attachment can be a gateway to explaining deeper spiritual concepts.
In this case, a child's love for a hedgehog can serve as an introduction to the Communion of Saints. Explain that just as she cares for her hedgehog toy, there are saints in heaven who care for us and intercede for us. By associating a familiar and beloved object with a profound spiritual truth, parents can make faith relatable and accessible to their children.

Giving Space to Grow in Faith
While it's crucial to guide our children in their faith journey, it's equally important to give them space to grow. Regular Mass attendance, as the Catechism (#1324) reminds us, is central to the Christian life. However, it's also important not to force faith upon them. Faith is a gift from God, and it should also be a gift from parents to their children. Encouraging children to ask questions, fostering an environment of open dialogue, and allowing them to explore their faith at their own pace can be transformative. As parents, we must remember that our role is to plant the seeds of faith and provide the nurturing environment needed for those seeds to flourish. The Holy Spirit will help with growing our kids' faith.

Summing Up
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to overlook the significance of little moments. However, these moments can have a lasting impact on our children's faith journey. By recognizing the home as the domestic church, using the "Tell, Show, Do" framework to teach, and giving children space to grow in their faith, we can create an environment where faith is not just learned, but lived and embraced. As we journey together in faith, may we continue to find God in the ordinary moments of life, nurturing the seeds of faith that will bear fruit for generations to come.

Matthew Chicoine is a left-handed cradle Catholic who enjoys reading everything Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Chesterton and is also an avid comic book fan. He is married to his wife Jennifer and has four children. Matthew’s favorite saints include Athanasius, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Philip Neri and John of the Cross. Discover more of his Catholic content by visiting: