If you are like most parents you feel a tension and have a deep desire to foster your child’s spiritual life but you wonder where to begin. I want to resolve this conflict by helping you think through your involvement and the structure you will operate under. Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have co-authored a book called, “Raising Great Kids”, and much of what I will be discussing comes from that book in Chapter 9. Please Understand: Children and some teens demand that life adapt to them, while those who adapt themselves to life are proving to be the mature. Your child needs to grow up, but do it in God’s way!
Premise: Your child’s spiritual life is a fundamental part of their total life development.
If Adults are grown up because they adapt their life to the realities of society around them. Your child needs to adapt their lives around the Author of Reality. In Acts 17:28 we read, “For in him we live and move and have our being!” One cannot separate your child’s spiritual life from the rest of life. It was meant to be integrated! It involves way more than just religious training; it is showing your child that the essence of everything is spiritual.
If you wish to start a garden in your backyard, you need to prepare the soil, add fertilizer, water and sunlight, and remove weeds and pests. You will optimize your plant growth. In the same way, you want to create optimal conditions for your child to meet and love God. Following are ways to do just that:
Seeing the Eternal in every day life. It is much simpler for younger children they live in a supernatural world where Planes fly, Microwaves pop popcorn, and Money grows on trees! They live with this dependency on you as parents and can transfer that to God!
Seeing God as the Source of all Good Things. Is it possible for your child to see that you are a better parent because you are connected to God? I think if kids see their parents working out their faith, they get the confidence to model after them.
Life works better living it God’s way. Your child will experience God as the giver of Good things, but God is not cosmic Santa bent on meeting your families’ needs. He is the KING! If you want to be happy live according to God’s laws! (Psalm 1).