Raising children and promoting spiritual growth
No maps. No GPS. Few street signs. Those are three important reasons why I don’t drive in developing countries. I’d get lost. Raising our kids to follow Christ is a lot like trying to navigate in an under-developed country — there is no parenting map, no spiritual GPS. We head in the direction that seems best, trying to find our way by trial and error.
But we don’t need to feel lost. As we journey through each stage of our children’s development, we can point them toward spiritual markers that will help them find true faith — becoming vibrant followers of Christ.
For parents of young children, the journey of raising Christ followers starts with the task of instilling respect for God and His authority. The psalmist tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).
While most of us enjoy teaching toddlers fun Bible stories, we can’t stop there. Early childhood materials may solely emphasize how “Jesus is your friend.” Warm fuzzy feelings build affection for Jesus, but they don’t build the foundation for spiritual wisdom. Awe, wonder and respectful fear of God lay that groundwork.
So how do you instill this respect? Teach your young children these truths:
Wisdom is the ability to apply God’s Word to life situations. So to grow in wisdom, your children must first learn God’s Word. From ages 5 to 8, add biblical teaching to your daily routine. At this age, your children probably love to learn. Make sure you emphasize the following four areas