SPIRITUAL TRAINING FOR YOUR KIDS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE HARD…
I’ve heard the story, many times. By God’s grace, a parent has come to faith in Christ later in life.
They change course mid-stream so to speak, in their own life and in their family. There’s a new mind-set and new way of living that they’re trying to implement in their household. In many cases, they are doing it after years of heading in the opposite direction.
Many parents who are in that boat feel that they don’t have much to offer their children, spiritually speaking. They don’t know how to lead their children spiritually because they are still learning, themselves. Sound familiar?
What do you do?
How can you teach them when you’re still very much in growth mode yourself?
All it takes is for you to stay at least a few steps ahead of them. I’ve been learning this lesson in a different context, lately. Maybe my situation will help you get what I’m talking about.
Much of what I do to provide income for my family, (with this website and and with some of my other endeavors) is teaching-related. I teach people how to do a variety of of things. In some cases, as I’m developing my teaching resources, I realize that I don’t know the process or information as well as I should.
So what do I do, give up and say I can’t teach it?
Nope. I learn it.
Then I teach it.
We all know there is value to the kind of teaching that comes from years of experience, but it’s not always necessary.
The way I see it, is this: If I’m truly learning the information or skill, on a heart level, I think it could even be more effective for me, a “newbie” to teach it, because I see first-time-learner issues much more clearly than the seasoned veteran. As a result, I’m able to speak a “language” that first-time-learners can grab hold of more easily.
SPIRITUAL TRAINING FOR YOUR CHILDREN CAN HAPPEN THE SAME WAY
As you learn something new in your spiritual walk you are able to honestly share it with your kids, struggles and all.
They see the genuine nature of your growth and relationship with the LORD, and it gives them a model to follow. It shows them how to handle confusion and difficulty and it demonstrates how to apply the new truths God has to teach you (and them).
You’re being an example, a model, and therefore a guide. Isn’t that what you’re wanting in the first place?
If that’s where you find yourself, here’s what I suggest:
- Make sure YOU are on track with the LORD, first. I have a couple of different resources (here) that can help you build a regular habit of time with Him.
- Talk about what the LORD is teaching you. Your kids need to see that your spiritual walk is genuine and that it matters to you. They need to see the change that’s happened in “real life.”
- Share your struggles and your victories. Your children don’t need a sterling example. They need to see how a real person walks out a life of faith in our very fallen world. They need to see what humility looks like, how a teachable spirit is formed, and how God can do His work in a flawed human being. You’re the perfect candidate to teach them those things.
- Talk openly about their spiritual condition. Use the experiences you share from your own life as spring-boards to ask about their lives. Younger children may need help understanding what you’re asking. Older kids may need gentle prodding, especially if you’ve not talked on a spiritual level much in the past. But as you are consistent in showing them that spiritual topics matter to you, they’ll begin to be curious.
- Pray for God to continue guiding you, as you guide them. The more you depend on the LORD, the more you will see His strength come through in your weaknesses. Trust Him to do His work in you, for the sake of your kids.
Spiritual training for your kids doesn’t have to be hard. All you need to do is to continue faithfully walking with the LORD, and out of genuine concern for your children, share the process with them.
The video below may not be your preferred style of music, but the message is powerful on this point. We only have one life, given to us by God. As His redeemed children we are expected to make it count. Your children need you to make sure that your life counts for their sake, to lead them into radical faith for generations.
Don’t Waste Your Life (lyrics below the video).
I know a lot of people out there scared they’re gonna die
A couple of them thinking they’ll be livin’ in the sky
But while I’m here livin’ man I gotta ask why, what am here fo’ I gotta figure out
Waste my life
No I gotta make it count
If Christ is real then what am I gonna do about
Everything in Luke 12: 15 down to 21
You’ve really gotta go and check it out
Paul said if Christ ain’t resurrected we’ve wasted our lives
Well that implies that our life’s built around Jesus being alive
Everyday I’m living tryin’ to show the world why
Christ is more than everything you’ll ever try
Better than pretty women and sinning and living to get a minute of any women and men that you admire
It ain’t no lie
We’re created for Him
Outta the dust he made us for Him
Elects us and he saves us for Him
Jesus comes and he raises for Him
Magnify the Father why bother with something lesser
He made us so we could bless Him
To the world we confess Him
So I know I got life
Matter fact better man I know I got Christ
If you don’t see His ways in my days and nights
You can hit my brakes you can stop my life
Then I lost my rights
I lost my life
Forget the money cars and toss that ice
The cost is Christ
And they could never offer me anything on the planet that would cost that price.
Armed and dangerous
So the devil just can’t hang with us
Christian youth them will stand with us
Living and driven
Given a vision
Fullfillin’ the commission he handed us
London to Los Angeles
The rap evangelist
My daddy wouldn’t abandon us
I gotta backpack full of tracts and I keep it on the Johnny mac
So are you ready to jam with us
So let’s go, give me the word an let’s go
Persecution let’s go
Tribulation let’s go
Across the nation let’s go
Procrastination let’s go
Hung on the cross in the cold
Died for the young and the old
Can’t say you never know
Heaven knows how many souls are going to hell or to heaven so we gotta go in to get them
Yeah, do it for Christ!
You’re trying to figure what to do with your life
If you make a lot of money hope you’re doing it right
Because the money is God’s you better steward it right
And stay focused
You ain’t got no ride
Your life ain’t wrapped up in what you drive
The clothes you wear, the job you work
The color your skin naw you’re a Christian first
People get to living for a job
Make a little money start living for a car
Get ’em a wife a house kids and a dog
Then they retire they’re living high on the hog
But guess what they didn’t ever really live at all
To live is Christ and that’s Paul I recall
To die is gain so for Christ we give it all
He’s the treasure you’ll never find in a mall
Your money your singleness marriage talent your time
They were loaned to you to show the world that Christ is Divine
That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him He’s the life in my lines
I refused to waste my life
He’s too true to chase that ice
Here’s my gifts and time
‘Cause I’m constantly trying to be used to praise the Christ
If he’s truly raised to life
Then this news should change your life
And by his grace you can put your faith in place that rules your days and nights.