For parents of young children, the journey of raising Christ-followers starts with the task of instilling respect for God and His authority.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Children are a precious gift from God, and they deserve our very best. As we dedicate time to raise spiritually healthy children, we can have peace knowing the Bible promises us that our faithful training will not be lost.
Here are 6 ways to raise spiritually healthy kids:
1. Set a Good Example
Do your children see you reading your Bible? Do they see you pray? Are you living with the Fruits of the Spirit?
Are you practicing what you’re preaching? Kids know when you’re telling them to do one thing, but you’re doing another.
So even if your ideal Bible reading time might be when the kids are asleep, pick up your Bible during the day and teach them how to have their own quiet time. Throughout the day, pray for Fruits of the Spirit and the ability to share those attributes with your children.
By being a good example for your kids, they can look up to you and model themselves after you.
2. Create Family Time
Family time can be hard to schedule with multiple people, work, and after school activities. Five to fifteen minutes is a good starting point.
Use your time together to share Scripture verses and lessons you are learning from a personal Bible study. You can also have your child share their Sunday School lesson or memory verse. During this family bible time, help them understand Biblical stories, and identify ways they can obey God at home and school.
3. Pray Always And Everywhere
Prayer is a powerful thing. We need power from God to do all He’s called us to do, and so do our children.
However you do it, pray with and for your children. You can pray together during family meals, pray for them before they leave for school, or pray for them when they go to bed at night. Prayer should be part of every Christian’s life, and teaching your kids that important truth is irreplaceable.
4. Create A Loving, Supportive Community of Believers
Grandparents, teachers, church leaders, friends…
While there’s no doubt that you are the most important person for your child’s spiritual development, you don’t have to carry the responsibility alone.
We all have different knowledge, perspective, and experience. We all have all been given different gifts and passions from God. And when we surround our children with a whole community of people who love and care for them, we’re all better off for it.
5. Serve Others Together
The Bible constantly teaches Christians are to be servers. Christ himself came, and He served others while He walked this earth.
Even if your child is very young and can’t help too much, there are still ways to get them involved in service. Some ideas for younger children include ringing a Salvation Army Christmas bell, helping an older person with some basic needs (picking up groceries or changing a light bulb or other needs).
However you choose to serve, the important thing is that your child understands that life is not just all about us. We live this life with an eye on the next life. Life is about more than our satisfaction and is about others and is, most importantly, about God.
6. Get Involved In Their Education
Find a way to get involved in your kids’ education throughout their whole schooling career. Now don’t start getting overwhelmed! This doesn’t mean you need to cover every subject, just areas that are your strengths.
Wise parents understand that it is not enough to enroll children in a Christian school or to immerse them in Christian culture. Parents need to remain diligent and involved in their child’s education to ensure that their faith and character development are not left up to chance.
Raising Christians isn’t easy, but with these steps, you can become intentional in the areas that we have seen reap the harvest with our children.
3 John 1:4 “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”