By: Brenna Miles. Photos by Nico Benalcazar, Edwin Estioko, Fernando Sinacay & Emily Turner.   |   Posted: July 08, 2024

As Christians, we must learn to live and love like Jesus. How can we do that? By learning these Christian values and putting them into practice.

8 Life-Transforming Christian Values to Teach Your Child

As Christians, we must learn to live and love like Jesus. How can we do that? By learning these Christian values and putting them into practice.

Written by Brenna Miles. Photos by Nico Benalcazar, Edwin Estioko, Fernando Sinacay & Emily Turner.
A young girl and her mother sit on a bed reading a Bible. The Bible is reflecting light on the young girl’s face as they learn about Christian values together.

Did you know that the term “Christian” comes from the Greek word christianos, which means “follower of Christ”? That’s right — as Christians, we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, loving what he loves and living by his example.

Throughout the Bible, God gives us principles to follow, such as living generously. These principles, when held near and dear to our hearts, become Christian values that guide our thoughts and actions.

By teaching these values to your children, you give them the steps they need to follow after Jesus, which changes everything.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

— Proverbs 22:6, NIV

Here, you’ll find eight Christian values to teach your children, you’ll witness a true example of these values in action, and you’ll learn tips you can use to point your little ones toward Jesus.

What's Here:

8 Christian Values to Teach Your Child

Our values are the beliefs and principles we hold in our hearts that guide the way we live each day. These beliefs guide how we work, talk, interact with others and even how we see ourselves.

Christian values help us align our hearts with Jesus’ heart. Through that alignment, we begin to see the world, ourselves and those around us through his eyes. And when we see with his eyes, we act accordingly, becoming truly Christlike.

In other words, these eight values are incredibly important.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

— Proverbs 4:23, NIV

1. Empathy

In Luke 13, Jesus does something unexpected. A woman, crippled for 18 years, came to hear him teach in the synagogue. When Jesus saw her, he said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (Luke 13:12, NIV).

But it was the Sabbath. Work of any kind, including healing, was forbidden. One angry religious leader told the crowd that had gathered: “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath” (Luke 13:14, NIV).

But Jesus saw the woman suffering and felt empathy for her. He recognized, understood and felt her pain. Knowing he could heal her and take her suffering away, he did, regardless of any repercussions.

We can show the same empathy for the hurting in our own lives. When we see a friend or family member going through something hard, allowing ourselves to understand and feel their pain will help us move in love and compassion, just like Jesus.

Teach It: Talk your kids through an exercise of seeing the world through someone else’s circumstances. Read through Luke 13:10-17 and ask them questions such as, “What do you think it felt like to be crippled for 18 years?” and “What would you have done if you saw the suffering woman?”

Two boys, one in a blue shirt and one in a green shirt hug each other on the playground.

2. Generosity

Let’s flip a few pages back to Matthew 14. At the start of the chapter, we learn that John the Baptist had been beheaded. When Jesus learned about John’s death, he took a boat to a private place to be alone. We can imagine how Jesus felt after losing his friend and family member.

As soon as the local crowds discovered where Jesus was, they flocked to him (we’re talking over 5,000 people). And when they arrived, Jesus “had compassion on them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14, NIV).

Here, we see a perfect example of just how generous Jesus was with his time. Although he was going through the loss of someone close, he took the time to care for those that only he could heal.

His generosity doesn’t stop there. As it was getting dark, the disciples asked Jesus to send the crowds away so they could go to the nearby villages and get something to eat. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16, NIV).

All the disciples had were five loaves of bread and two fish. That was barely enough to feed the 12, let alone more than 5,000 people. What would they all eat?

In another act of generosity, Jesus took the food, blessed it and instructed the disciples to give it to the people. As they did, it multiplied, and all of them ate until they were full.

Jesus’ generosity with his time and resources changed many lives that day. Thousands were healed and received a filling meal.

Most importantly, everyone, including the disciples, learned a valuable lesson: When we give what we have to those in need, God multiplies it. And through our generosity, God can change lives through us too.

Teach It: Get your kiddos involved in simple acts of generous giving. Ask them for ideas they might have of how to be generous. Then, practice generosity together. For example, go through your pantry and see what you could donate to a local shelter. Or spend some time as a family volunteering for a charity you love.

Want to change a vulnerable child’s life with your generous giving? Learn more about child sponsorship.

3. Peace

In Mark 4, Jesus and his disciples boarded a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Soon, thunder began to clap. The scared disciples watched as the waves grew stronger minute by minute, threatening to take over the boat.

Jesus was at the stern of the boat, taking a nap. The disciples ran to him and said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38, NIV).

Jesus got up and told the wind and the waves to “be still.” Instantly, the storm vanished, and the water became calm and peaceful. The disciples’ hearts followed suit.

Life is messy, right? Storms happen that make us anxious or fearful. For example, we might suffer sickness or wake up to a to-do list that’s a mile long. But in those moments, Jesus is our source of peace, calming the storms in our hearts and minds.

We can have peace knowing that no matter what waves threaten to take over our boat, Jesus is with us, and he won’t let us drown.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

— John 16:33, NIV

Teach It: Give your kids a sticky note and ask them to write down John 16:33. Next, have them put the sticky note somewhere they’ll see it daily, such as on their bedroom door or in their locker. Remind them to consider this verse in moments when they feel scared. Jesus has overcome it all!

Young girl wearing denim overalls sits on her bed with her hands clasped in front of her face praying.

4. Grace

We’ve all had moments where someone really wronged us. Their actions deserved punishment, and it’s easy for us to want that. But how should we really respond?

In John 8, Jesus found himself in the temple face-to-face with a woman who had been caught in adultery. The Pharisees, religious leaders, wanted to accuse him of going against the law.

Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?

— John 8:4 (NIV)

Jesus told those gathered at the temple, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7, NIV). Soon, everyone standing around the woman had walked away, aside from Jesus.

Jesus looked at the woman and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10, NIV). The woman answered no.

Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.

— John 8:11 (NIV)

This woman was guilty of sin, and according to everyone around her, she deserved punishment. But Jesus was the perfect example of grace or undeserved favor. The Bible doesn’t say what happened to the woman after that. But we can bet her life was changed because of Jesus’ grace and mercy.

Your life has been changed because of Jesus’ grace too. He willingly gave his life on the cross for your sins so you could have everlasting life.

We can have that same grace toward those who do wrong against us. Remember: We all make mistakes. We’re all works in progress. Showing grace releases those who wrong us from guilt and shame and us from resentment and unforgiveness. That’s life-changing!

Teach It: Grab a dry-erase board and some markers. Ask your children to write down some examples of sin. Then erase the sins from the board. Talk them through how Jesus erases our sins and shows us grace and through the importance of showing the same grace to others.

5. Faith

To follow after Jesus, we must have faith in him. What does that mean? We must have trust and confidence in him and who he is. Let’s flip to Luke 8.

Here, we find Jesus surrounded by a large crowd of people. We can imagine the roar of the crowd as they pressed in, clamoring for his attention. But one woman, who had been bleeding for 12 years, was desperate for healing.

In faith, she pressed through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. Instantly, her bleeding stopped. Jesus felt the release of power and soon noticed the woman. He looked at her and said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48, NIV).

The woman’s faith led to her healing. Our faith is powerful too! Jesus tells us that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible (Matthew 17:20). With faith, we can experience everything Jesus has for us, from healing to peace to forgiveness.

Teach It: Kids love object lessons! Grab a chair and something to use as a blindfold. Have your child put on the blindfold and stand in front of the chair. Then ask them to sit. Explain that while they couldn’t see the chair, they knew it was there and had faith that it would catch them. We can have faith that Jesus is with us too and will catch us just the same.

6. Joy

What do you think when you hear the word “joy?” Maybe you think of someone belly-laughing after hearing a joke or a child gleefully playing with their favorite toy. Joy often looks like happiness to us, but it’s so much more!

Let’s consider King David. This man of God wrote many of the psalms we know and love. At the same time, he went through some really hard things. He faced Goliath (1 Samuel 17), committed adultery, which brought about its own consequences (2 Samuel 11) and lost a child (2 Samuel 12).

But through it all, David kept his eyes on God. In many of the psalms, David begins by lamenting about his troubles but ends in praise. Psalm 13:1 (NIV) reads, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” But Psalm 13:6 (NIV) reads, “I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”

David had joy. Even in the midst of difficult circumstances, he was content with and comforted by his relationship with the Heavenly Father. Happiness comes and goes based on what’s happening in our lives. But joy in the Father lasts!

Joy comes from knowing and finding pleasure in who Jesus is to us. It comes from knowing that no matter what happens, he will never change.

Teach It: The next time your child is going through something hard, take a moment to breathe with them. Then ask them to tell you some good things they have or are experiencing despite the hard things. Remind them that although the situation is tough, Jesus is with us through it all, and we can rejoice in that truth.

Young girl sitting in a field laughs while looking to the right.

7. Determination

In life, many things will try to distract us from following Jesus, from busyness to hurt feelings. But in our day-to-day walk, we must be determined, focused on following Jesus even when it’s hard.

There is no better example of determination than Jesus himself. Jesus was tempted to change his path just like we are today.

For example, in Matthew 4, Satan meets Jesus in the wilderness, where he tempts him with food and power. He even tries to get him to throw himself off the temple to prove he is the Son of God (Matthew 4:5-6).

But Jesus was determined to do his Father’s will. He had a purpose, and he was going to fulfill it at all costs. That determination to live a sinless life and die as the sacrifice for our sins was life-changing for all of us.

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” — John 6:38 (NIV)

Because of Jesus’ determination, we now have the gift of salvation and the ability to live with him for eternity. We can follow him with the same determination, leading others to do the same. And the reward? Fullness of life in Jesus, forever.

Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

— John 5:24 (NIV)

Teach It: Let’s experience what determination feels like. Give your children ice cubes. Have them hold the ice in their hands for as long as they can. Naturally, your kiddos will want to outlast the ice cube. Discuss how holding onto the ice cube, even when it’s hard, requires determination. We must have that same determination in our day-to-day lives!

8. Compassion

What would you do if you saw a man left for dead lying on the side of the road? Would you stop to care for him? Or would you walk on by? In Luke 10, Jesus tells us a story.

A man was traveling between Jerusalem and Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They took his clothes, beat him and left him half dead. A priest, traveling on the same road, saw the man but passed by on the other side. Next, a Levite saw the man and passed on the other side too.

You can imagine what the man must’ve felt like. He may have been crying out for help, pain radiating from his black and blue skin. Yet no one stopped to help, until a Samaritan passed by.

This Good Samaritan saw the man, picked him up and bandaged his wounds. He even took the man to an inn so he could rest. The Good Samaritan didn’t know this man, but he showed him mercy. Why? He had compassion for him.

Compassion comes from the Latin word compati, which means “to suffer with.” Showing compassion doesn’t just mean seeing the suffering of others. Instead, it means taking action to stop it.

The Good Samaritan saw the man’s suffering and took on the responsibility of relieving his pain. We’re called to do the same for those around us. In fact, in Luke 10:37, Jesus tells those listening to this parable to “go and do likewise.”

Teach It: Ask your kiddos to think of someone in their lives who might be suffering. Perhaps a grandparent is going through an illness or a friend is suffering a loss. Brainstorm ways you can help alleviate some of their suffering. For example, maybe you can send a card or offer to prepare some meals. Remember: No act of compassion is too small!

Christian Values in Action: Meet Pastor Raúl & Sister Graciela

What do Christian values look like in action? Meet Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela, two of our dedicated program directors.

Picture this: You’re standing in a small town in Bolivia. Trash surrounds the town on three sides, and the ground is spongy from rotting garbage under a thin layer of soil. The air is thick with the sour smell of rot.

The small town was nothing more than a trash dump. But Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela saw a mission field. As they walked the streets, they saw those living there, including children, suffering through extreme poverty. These individuals experienced constant skin and respiratory infections due to their living conditions.

Moved with empathy and compassion, powered by generous hearts, Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela began sharing the gospel under a tree in the center of town. As the gatherings grew, the couple resolved to do whatever God asked of them for the sake of the community.

While circumstances looked bleak in the small town, Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela had faith that God would supply what they needed to help those living in desperation.

“We didn’t have the means. But God did.” — Sister Graciela

Pastor Raul and Sister Graciela walk away from each other down a dirt path.

With bold determination, Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela began fundraising to secure a small plot of land. Compassion stepped in and provided them with the funds they needed to construct a building that would house both church services and Compassion programs to support those in the community.

Children in the community received medical checkups and freedom from their skin rashes and parasites. The light returned to children’s smiles as they ate plates of nutritious veggies and meat. The couple marched on, building classrooms and a medical clinic for the community.

Sister Graciela gives a group hug to six young children outside of a brick building. She smiles.

Today, the small town is no longer a trash dump. Through God’s grace, shown through Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela, those within the community are thriving, with healthy bodies and hopeful souls. And it’s all because Raúl and Graciela said yes to living and loving like Jesus.

Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela continue to feel joy as they watch God’s faithfulness impact the children they serve. They’re also filled with peace, knowing that God will continue to work in and care for their community.

Pastor Raul and Sister Graciela stand in a dirt road. Pastor Raul has his arm around Sister Graciela and they’re smiling at each other.

How to Instill Christian Values in Your Kiddos: 4 Tips

1. Ask God for Guidance

Parenting is tough, but Jesus never leaves us. Our Heavenly Father is there to give us strength when we’re exhausted and support when we don’t know what to do next.

Ask him to guide you when it comes to teaching your children about Christian values. Here’s a simple prayer:

“Father, thank you for blessing me with my child/children. I know that you entrusted them to me, and that means I have what it takes to raise them. Father, please guide me as I teach them how to be more like you. Please give me the right words to say so that they understand. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

2. Walk the Talk

Kids learn by example. If you model Christian values in your day-to-day life, they’ll follow suit. Of course, remember to give yourself grace; you won’t get it right all the time. Showing your kids how you respond when you fail is important too!

3. Read the Bible & Pray Together

As you can see from the above, the Bible is full of examples that teach us how to be like Jesus. And through Scripture, we learn more about who God is too. Take the time each day to read the Bible and pray together as a family. You can even find devotionals to read together to guide your learning as well as sample prayers to pray.

4. Serve Others Together

Following Christian values can transform your life and the lives of your children. But following Jesus can also be life-transforming for those around you in need.

Just like Pastor Raúl and Sister Graciela, serving others allows you to put all your values into action. And there are so many ways you can serve those who need help, such as those living in poverty.


One simple and powerful way to make a difference in the lives of others is to pray for them. Set aside time in your day to pray for those in need, like people you know suffering hard seasons or vulnerable children and families struggling through extreme poverty.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” — Mark 11:24 (NIV)

Not sure how to pray for people struggling across the world? Download a copy of our prayer calendar for specific prayer points you can use as inspiration.


God instructs us to share our resources with others. Hebrews 13:16 (NIV) says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

The best news is that the amount you give doesn’t matter. Whether you have a little or a lot, your gift is powerful! Your little can change the life of someone without.

Consider serving others as a family by donating to a critical cause, such as emergency medical care or clean water. Or consider sponsoring a child so they can hear the gospel and journey out of poverty with the hope of Jesus in their heart.

The Bottom Line: Love God & Love Others

While teaching your children Christian values is important, we know it’s not always easy. Just remember that all the above values come down to loving God and loving others. You’re leading your children down the right path every day by continuing to love them and love Jesus.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)

Put Your Christian Values Into Action

Two little girls stand in front of their home while hugging and smiling sweetly to the camera.

Living and loving like Jesus starts with putting your Christian values into action. Get started by learning more about child sponsorship!

Two little girls stand in front of their home while hugging and smiling sweetly to the camera.