Christian Parenting insights you need to know: An interview with my dear friend, Lee Ann Mancini author of the #1 New Release: Raising Kids to Follow Christ  – instilling a lifelong trust in God.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Please check out Lee Ann’s Bio at the end of this interview. I want you to get the weight of Lee Ann’s experience as a Christian Parenting expert.

Lee Ann, what has been your favorite thing about launching this book?


Lee Ann Mancini:
Oh, wow. My favorite thing. Well, first of all, thank you for having me. You know how much I love and adore you. And guest, old ladies know stuff. So I’m glad to be an old lady and sharing stuff. Geez, what is best about the book?

The fact that people are just gravitating towards it and telling me that they are just so thankful that it is full of wise information, which is researched from the brightest minds on children’s spirituality. I’m so thankful God put me on this path to do this research and to write, have the podcast to write the book. And it’s helping families. And I’m thanking the Lord for it.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Praise the Lord. I have been so blessed to be able to read the entire book and I just want to have as much as we can get from you into the minds of our readers. So let’s get into the thick of it.

Today Christian parents are longing for their kids to follow Christ. So you are speaking our language. So we want to glean from all of your Old Ladies Know Stuff wisdom.

Why is your book Raising Kids to Follow Christ an urgent read Christian parenting?

Lee Ann Mancini:
Well, let me just back up for a second. 5 years ago the I started researching for this book, I was alarmed at the statistics that were showing 65% of our children from Christian families were walking from the, walking away from their faith in college. And so I said, we got to do something, Lord. There has to be something. So, you know, I like to research. So I started researching. And when I was getting all this information, that’s when I started the podcast. And then I felt the Lord called me to put it into a book.

Let’s come up to today. Okay? Today, George Barna wrote a book called Raising Spiritual Champions. And his statistics from the, Arizona Christian University, I believe I’m correct with that, indicated that 70% of 13 to 14 year olds from Christian families, they don’t believe Satan exists. Wow. That’s crazy. 70%. 84%. The is even more shocking.

84% don’t believe we’re born into sin and need a Savior – That’s a statistic from aged 13 to 14 year olds from Christian family. And 70% of those surveyed don’t believe in absolute moral truth.

And then you go to the Christian pastors and, 50% actually believe that Jesus may have sinned on earth, you know, these are “Christian pastors”. Christian pastors who are teaching our children I’m using air quotes when I say, “Christian pastors.”

Many believe in reincarnation as a possibility. On, my word. So this is why it’s urgent and this is why we see our times, ourselves living in the times we’re living in. We don’t have strong Christians in the focus pillars of society, academia, the media, the church, and, government. The four pillars that run society.

Yeah. So that’s why it’s urgent.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Yes. It is urgent. And I think those who are Christian parenting sense the urgency. I mean, the the sky is falling. The world’s falling apart. And I always say it’s not falling apart. It’s falling into place for the second coming of our Savior, our King of kings, and Lord of lords!

God has chosen us in history to raise this generation to be ready for a world we really have no idea what they’re going to have to be prepared to live out their faith and to follow Christ. So this is a great Christian parenting resource for that.

So what’s your advice to parents with children in public school systems that are struggling with what their kids are being taught or exposed to during the day?

Lee Ann Mancini:

Eighty percent of our children go to a public school because there’s a lot of Christian families that can’t afford a private school and cannot homeschool. We don’t have to go into the details of how horrible public schools are, and they’re indoctrinating them in worldview, man’s worldview.

And so what we have to do as a Christian family is we have to double down on the things we do at home.

Ken Ham says we can no longer raise our children to have what he calls a, “Sunday school faith”. Where they get all of their teaching when they go to Sunday school. It worked back in the fifties sixties, you know, but it doesn’t work anymore.

Lee Ann Mancini:
Rhonda and if I could, I’d like to read one little quote from Josh Mulvihill. He says, “Could it be that one reason young people are doctrinally ignorant, spiritually confused, and living with a syncretistic faith system is that we have reduced our teachings to a couple dozen moralistic stories found in most children’s Bibles. Our children need the soul gripping, life altering, meat based, Jesus centered teachings of God’s word.”

No we have to really, what I call like Rosy Riveter on World War II,  the parents rolled up their sleeves and got to work to fight the war.

Lee Ann Mancini:
We need to roll up our sleeves. We need to, be prepared, prepare ourselves as parents, to know God’s word, to live God’s word, and to teach God’s word. According according to Deuteronomy 6:4-9.

Rhonda Stoppe:
That is our call and our directive from the Lord. And Christian parenting is a ministry that God’s called us to. I think that’s what I loved about your book and about your admonition to your readers.

And, you know, we get to do Raising Christian Kids – Digging Deeper episodes. Lee Ann, Doctor Michelle Watson Canfield, and me. Such great Christian parenting conversations!

Lee Ann Mancini:
Yes. I love our times together on that podcast. It’s so much fun, and it is so informative.

Rhonda Stoppe:
And there is an urgency! It’s easy to entertain our kids. We think that we’re just keeping them busy by entertaining them and keeping them out of trouble. Steve, my husband, was a youth minister for so many years, 18 years. And we found that many Christian parents think, “If you could just entertain my kids to keep them busy, they won’t do the wrong things.” That’s just not true. That cannot change their hearts. That’s what I love about your resource.

So in the book, you mentioned a thought that scared you to the core, an image that Jonathan Edwards, the North American revivalist, preached from 1700 used to frighten parents, and it’s a vivid example for Christian parenting.

Can you talk about that and your reaction to it?

Lee Ann Mancini:
I’m gonna tell you, Rhonda, I researched and I read a lot of parenting books. And I’m going back to a book that talked about the 1700s. I actually have a book and it’s it’s amazing. They were kind of facing some of the things that we were facing today, but not at this level. But nonetheless, the devil is always attacking family. He has from Adam and Eve, and he will continue to do until the till Christ returns. But Jonathan Edwards said to the parents, and this is during the revival in the 1700s, the great church revival.

He said, “What if you got to heaven and you’re sitting at the heavenly banquet table and you’re looking around the table and you’re seeing your your spouse and your sisters and your brothers and your cousins and your friends and your aunts and uncles and grandparents, and you’re rejoicing to see them. You’re gonna spend all eternity with the. But you don’t see your children. Your children are not sitting at that table for all eternity and you know where they are.”

That alone, when I read the, I still have the Holy Spirit goosebumps. When I read that, it just startled me to the core. If you think about the final end of all things, where your children will be, that should transform you right now!

Rhonda Stoppe:
For such a time as this… to make sure that we do all we can within our God given ability to raise our children to love and adore and honor Christ and not walk away from Him. Because the world tells them something different.

Christian parenting begins at home. It begins in our lives. Statistics reveal that kids will walk away from our religion. However, when they watch mom and dad pursue loving God with all their being and loving others with Christ’s love and keeping short account of our own sin, they can’t ignore our faith.

I’m reading the book right now entitled, Respectable Sins, by Jerry Bridges. We have so many sins that are “respectable sins” of which we refuse allow the spirit to convict us. We excuse them, and we think we’re doing okay. We compare ourselves to other Christians around us and we think we’re doing ok. But we’re not comparing ourselves to the holiness of God.

When we come to a place of saying, “Lord, I want You to reflect in my life. That’s how my kids will have an appetite to know God.

The word glorify God means to reflect His character. In Isaiah it says “He created us for His glory.” If He created us to live in a manner that reflects His character, that’s the light that God can use to draw our children to Christ.

Not our religious ritual, not our hypocrisy, which means pretending we’re one thing at church and coming home to be someone completely different. 75% of teenagers walk away from the church and the number one reason is hypocrisy in their Christian homes.

Lee Ann Mancini:
Yes. And, you know, I recently read, John Wesley who said I believe it was John Wesley who said, I learned more from my mother about Christianity than all the theologians in England.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Yes. I’m actually, moms raising sons to be mentor book, I have a big section about Susanna Wesley. She had, 15 kids.  But I right now am listening to the audiobook of John Wesley’s life. And this woman did not have an easy life. I mean, she lost kids. She had 15 children. She lost babies. Their house burned down. When people didn’t like the message her husband was preaching, they burned her house down. I mean, this woman’s life was not easy.

But through those trials, what her children saw was a genuine pursuit and love for Christ, and she taught it to her kids. That’s incredible testimony of impactful Christian parenting.

Lee Ann Mancini:
So you see there, John Wesley speaks about his mother. Yeah. So, you know, it’s passed down from generation to generation. Amen.

Rhonda Stoppe:
You talk about writing, preparing the soil and planting a seed. You on explain that to us?

Lee Ann Mancini:
When, from the womb to age 3, I call that preparing the soil. So, you know, in God’s word, it says we are called to teach even to the children yet to be born.

Psalm 78:6-7

That the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works O God, but keep His commandments.

And then Psalm 51:6 says:

Behold, You delight in the truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

God desires faithfulness. “Even in the womb, You taught me wisdom in that secret place.” What does that mean? Well, at 18 weeks of pregnancy, babies can hear in the womb. And so you can start right then and there singing songs about Jesus, using the name of Jesus, volunteering at a daycare center. Let your children hear other children singing songs of Jesus.

Another thing I talk about is, say you have, a child who is nursing or drinking a bottle. You know, they scream when they’re hungry. Right? They’re screaming, they’re hungry, and you put that bottle in and all of a sudden you hear cooing noises. That’s when you can say simply, “You know, Johnny, Jesus loves you. Jesus loves you.”

You’re connecting. Their needs being met with the name of Jesus.

Rhonda Stoppe:
I love that.

Lee Ann Mancini:
Or you have a toddler who’s looking on, you know, at his reflection in the marriage, or a 6 month old and they’re giggling, you say, “Sarah, Jesus loves you. You’re so pretty. Jesus made you and Jesus loves you.”

Now you’re connecting their happy emotions with the name of Jesus. When they are toddlers, instead of saying, “Let’s take a nap,” you say, “Let’s take a Sabbath’s rest.” Now they don’t understand what the true meaning of the word Sabbath is, but you’re building the category and a, vocabulary in their mind of the word Sabbath.

So this is all from the womb to age 3. Now from 4 to 7, when you start teaching them the true meanings of what Sabbath means, you’re planting seeds into rich soil that can grow deep roots.

Lee Ann Mancini:
From ages four to seven children really explode in their learning. That’s why a five year old can speak 2 languages. Ninety percent of their brain is fully functioned by the age of 5. And so these first seven years is in God’s economy a form of completion. Take time to build their foundation. And then from ages 8 to 13 build upon that foundation. And, experts agree that a worldview starts to form around, 15 months and has solidified around 13 years of age. Wow!

So we do all we can to the best of our ability. Yes. It’s never too late. It’s never too early either.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Never too late to apply godly principles to our Christian parenting. Right?

Lee Ann Mancini:
No mommy guilt. No mommy guilt.

Rhonda Stoppe:
That’s great. And my oldest son did not come to our family till he was 15 years old. So you have a stepson, a foster child, adopted child. If they’re in your home and they’re in your care, they’re under your influence, it’s God’s timing that How put them there. And if you’ve raised them and you have not been applying these principles, now you’re responsible for what the Lord is teaching you.

And know, before God, you can say, “Help me apply what I’m learning.”  Get this book, Raising Christian Kids, and apply these principles.

One of the things that I talk about in my book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men is how Jochebed had to give her son Moses over author she was done nursing him to a woman who worshiped cats, who was ungodly influence. Can you imagine? I mean, the woman who loved Yahweh was giving her child to the influence of pharaoh’s palace, and yet think of those years that she would have had Moses as she nursed him, as she sang to him of Yahweh.

So important that you have imprinted on your young ones. That means you don’t just stick them in any old daycare. If you’ve got to go to work, if you don’t just have them be babysat with someone that doesn’t have a biblical worldview, if you want to partner with the caregiver of your child, ask the Lord to send you a grandmother, a cousin, an aunt, a sister, a friend, someone that is going to come alongside of your Christian parenting and help impart that biblical worldview to your child when they are in their care. I love that.

How can we start teaching our Biblical principles and what age does a worldview start to form? You kind of shared that spiritual foundation. It’s so important to fight against the anti Christian culture. Talk about that.

Lee Ann Mancini:

Look what we’re faced with today. You know, that the the phones are destroying our children, literally killing our children. The suicide rate, anxiety rate amongst teens is out of off the roof. Then we have TV. You cannot turn on a to television anymore without seeing something that is totally anti biblical. And then you have Children attending school where they’re being taught from the. They’re being taught from other kids what they think is true.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Or what they’ve seen on the Internet.

Lee Ann Mancini:
Or what they’ve seen on the Internet. Yeah. So this is why it’s so important in my book, I have a chapter about apologetics. It kind of teaches the on my book, the parents will learn a great deal also, and then they’ll learn how to, teach their children a verbal defense for what we believe. We’re not apologizing for what we believe, but it’s a verbal defense, a loving verbal defense of why we believe what we believe. And so the times we’re living in, we really need to really, stand up and take control of how we’re raising our children. One expert says,

Drastic times calls for drastic measures.

Lee Ann Mancini:
Parents, grandparents, ministry leaders, church pastors, aunts and uncles. Let’s win our children back. You know, God says our children are, the arrows in our quiver. Well, an arrow is made back then it instills today Real precise. It it is created perfect. So what does the, archer do with the arrow? He shoots it to kill his enemy. God is saying our children are our arrows. They are the ones that are will fight the enemy.

They are our future.

Lee Ann Mancini:
Aristotle said, “Give me a child, until the age of 7, and I’ll have him for his lifetime. ” Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini understood this to be true too.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Beware parents. Beware.

let’s talk quickly about your, Sea Kids TV show. You can watch an amazing episodes of these adorable little sea creatures that have the best biblical values. The stories on those episodes are what we want to expose our kids. Christian parents won’t be cringing and hoping our child didn’t pick up the subtle, what’s the word, deception in those cartoons that they’re watching now. You can be completely content to know they’re getting a biblical worldview.

You can’t watch SeaKids TV on so you can watch them on Right Know Media, Pure Flix, Answers TV and Go Minnow. You can buy the DVDs, on the on the website and you can buy the books and curriculum. That’s seven books and all 26 episodes that churches are using as supplemental curriculum for Sunday School.

Because the SeaKids, helps children understand how to live out the biblical principles we’re trying to instill in them in real life situations. So as you’re watching an episode, you’ll hear the mother say, “You know, the apostle Paul says…” And then she repeats the Bible verse. Kids learn from real life situations that they face today.

Rhonda Stoppe:

So real quick, please tell us about the specific Bible characters whose parents adhere to the commandment of Deuteronomy 6 4 through 9?

Lee Ann Mancini:
This is important. So we always go to God’s word to find, you know, find out what we need to do and how to do it. Well, if you think about it, what does Jeremiah, Samuel, Timothy, Paul all have in common? They were taught from infancy. The parents didn’t wait to train them.

Rhonda Stoppe:
They taught them from infancy, and that’s how Christian parenting is most effective. Amen. I was just thinking about a time when I was at an outreach in San Francisco. There were a bunch of homeless people. My son was playing in a band outside at Union Square Plaza. When they were all gathered around, we gave away free food. When they played the song, Jesus Loves Me, tears of these homeless people all across the stands. They just started crying. Someone had sung Jesus loves me to them as a child, and in that moment those who had hardened their hearts hardened hearts, were reminded. They heard it again and I’m sure they had memories of the beloved parent or grandparent who sang to them as a child.

Rhonda Stoppe:
So, yeah, start from the time they’re very young. Raising Kids to Follow Christ is thoughtful, and it takes a deep dive into scripture, but it’s also filled with practical advice. That’s what I love about it.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for parents and other caregivers as they start to build this spiritual foundation in their children?

Lee Ann Mancini:
Today, rely on the Holy Spirit to guide you, and don’t have any mommy or daddy guilt. If you haven’t done I didn’t do half the stuff that’s in my book when I was raising my kids. So don’t have it. Feel guilty if you haven’t done it. Erwin Lutzer talks about the found 4000 year old seeds in the tombs of the Egyptians. They planted them. They watered them. They gave them sunshine and they grew.

Lee Ann Mancini:
So it’s never too

Rhonda Stoppe:
…Early and it’s never too late. And just live out Christian parenting principles organically day by day as God says, “When you rise up, when you walk along the path, when you lie down.”

Invite Jesus into everything you do in your home. Mentor. And find Old Ladies because Old Ladies Know Stuff! (Which is the name of my podcast. I’d love it if you would subscribe!)

Older women. They are the mentors. They’re the women who God has invited to,”teach the younger how to love their husbands and love their children” (Titus 2:4)

And the best way we can love our children and our husbands is to live out what we believe, a genuine life of passion for Christ.

And I love this book, Raising Kids to Follow Christ. Please get yourself a copy.

Rhonda Stoppe:
Lord, I pray for the children and the grandchildren represented by those who are reading this article today. I pray for the ones that you have entrusted children. I pray for the moms and the grandmothers and the caregivers and Christian parents today. Lord, give us discernment. Your word says you have not because you ask not. We are asking for wisdom and discernment to raise up a generation in the nurture and admonition of the The to raise up arrows that will shoot straight at the enemy’s heart and that you will entrust in their generation to follow Christ and to live in a manner worthy of their calling of Christian parenting. In Jesus’ name, amen. Amen.

Subscribe to Listen to Rhonda’s interview with Lee Ann on Old Ladies Know Stuff Season 2 Episode 12 (Release Date: April 2, 2024)

Bio: Lee Ann Mancini hosts the award winning podcast Raising Christian Kids available on all major platforms and streaming on KHCB Radio’s uplifted station. She shares expert godly advice, biblically based wisdom, which is what I love about you, Lee Ann, and insightful tools for parenting children to bring them closer to Jesus. Also, she’s an award winning children’s author, which this is just todays, executive producer of the animated ladies, Sea Kids, which can be, viewed on Answers TV, Pureflix, Right Know Media, and Sea Kids TV. This series is based on her children’s book about cute oh, such cute colorful creatures.

Lee Ann is an adjunct professor at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. So you’re getting the weight of what we’re on learn here today, friends, as well as a sought after speaker on topics such as Christian growth, biblical understanding, and children’s spirituality. She received her BA in religious studies from Regent University, master’s degree in Christian and classical studies and biblical theology studies from Knox Theological Seminary and a master’s in Christian studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Lee Ann and her husband, Guy, have 2 adult children, and they make their home in South Florida.


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