In my previous post To Love Your Children, I covered some extremes Mom’s can go to with their kids- Wish they were never born, worry about them, or worship them, and the goal of our parenting- to see them walking with God.
For our kids to walk with God, we have to be intentional about investing in their spiritual growth. We set the example for them to follow, to learn from and to lead them in the way they should go. Their prayers and praise will mimic ours, and their faith or lack thereof can oftentimes be a reflection of our own.
Our kids need us to be intentional about our own spiritual health and maturity, and equally as concerned with theirs.
Here are 6 Ways to Intentionally Invest in Your Children:
Speak truth- John 8:32-And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. Our kids are getting bombarded with lies from all directions. Even if we homeschool them, don’t allow them to have electronics or social media, or watch tv, they’re still going to hear and believe lies. Because they have an enemy who wants to devour them. His goal is to keep them from learning about Jesus, from believing in him, and from following him. He’s pursuing them just like Saul chased after David. We have to be like Jonathan and intercede for them in prayer, point them to the Lord as their refuge, and encourage and strengthen their hands in the Lord.
Spending time with them-All kids spell love T>I>M>E! Be intentional about investing quality time with your kids. I know that’s hard when you have a lot of kids and a busy schedule, but ask God to give you creative and cheap ways to spend time with each of your number one disciples. The season you’re in won’t last forever. Before you know it they’ll be gone and you don’t want to have any regrets, so show your love to your kids by making time for them now.
Talk to them- Every good relationship has good communication. Start when they’re young and ask good questions, really listen to their responses. Engage with them while they’re younger and they’ll be more likely to engage when they’re teenagers.
Treasure them- Psalm 127:3- Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. They need to know they’re valuable to us and to the Lord. If not, they’re going to be looking for that value in all the wrong places, heaping up all kinds of heartache. They may find acceptance and approval in the wrong crowd, or affection in the arms of the wrong person.
Train them- Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Not just bringing correction, and training them how to obey our every command, but training them how to love God and love others. Train them how to serve the Lord and walk in his ways by letting them minister with you, pray with you, praise God with you, and passionately pursue intimacy with Christ.
Teach them- Proverbs 9:10- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Teach them the fear of the Lord by fearing the Lord yourself. Reverence him and they will too. Teach them to obey by walking in obedience to God yourself. Teach them godly character and Deut.6:4-9. It’s our job as parents to teach our kids about the Lord and his word. It’s not the youth pastor’s job, it’s yours!
Being a parent is hard. There are no guarantees that doing all the right things will produce godly children. But being intentional to invest in them can certainly help.
At the end of our life we will each stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of how well we loved our children. Maybe you’ve made a lot of mistakes with your kids- it’s never too late for a fresh start. You begin at the foot of the cross, leave the past behind and ask for a refreshing of the Spirit to be able to love them like Jesus does.
~Psalm 78:4~ We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.