Everyone could use a little bit of encouragement, especially our children. As they grow up, they are exposed to all kinds of new experiences that help shape the person they will become. Here are 4 ways we can help encourage the children in our lives.

1. Admit your faults.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
It’s easy to get upset and lose patience when a child spills their milk. But what will they learn from that? None of us are perfect people. We know this, because Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins. So when a child makes a mistake, it’s important that they know that you make mistakes, too. Share your faults with them, and show them what you’ve learned from your mistakes and what they can learn from theirs.

2. Stop comparing them to others.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14)
Since social media has become so prominent in our lives, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. But it’s important to remember that most of what we see online is not an accurate depiction of real life. We need to teach our kids that life is messy, and not everything will be “Instagram-worthy.” Let them develop at their own rate, let them discover their own calling, and remind them that they are loved by God, and you, just as they are.

3. Talk to them.

“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:4)
Speaking of social media, it’s so easy to get distracted these days. Too many things are fighting for our attention. But if we take the time to talk with our kids, we can learn so much about them. We can find out what they’re interested in, what they’re afraid of, what their goals are, and more. When we truly get to know them, we’ll know how we can support them better and what it is we can be praying about for them.

4. Pray with them.

“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
But don’t just pray for your kids. Pray with them. Have you ever had someone pray with you? It’s a powerful feeling. It helps us to know that someone is rooting for us but also reminds us that God is there too, holding our hopes, dreams, fears, and everything in between. When we pray with our kids, it not only reinforces that you are in their corner, it teaches them that God is always there for them, too. It will encourage them to start their personal walk with Jesus.

Is there a child in your life that could use some encouragement? Choose one of the ways above that you can start pouring out encouragement over them today.