I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: save your hate mail. I’m not judging you as a parent or a Christian, or a person. I’m simply standing by a truth that I believe should be true for all of us as parents.
We’re not called to raise happy kids or teens but to raise our kids to be adults who are WHOLE in Christ.
So, we want to raise godly kids. We want to be able to believe in them as individuals and followers of Christ. Can we assure that our kids will turn out to be adults that fit this description? I feel like I have to side step a bit and tell you that I understand there are exceptions to every rule. I’m not blind to extenuating circumstances. That said, I believe by and large that we can follow a few keys as parents in order to be confident that we are raising our kids to be quality adults.
There are three major keys that we should understand. The first of which is simply a redefining of what we strive for as Christians. We must debunk the myths that cause us to be complacent in our walk with Christ.
Key number one to raising Godly kids is understanding what it means to be WHOLE in Christ.
Paul speaks often about maturity in Christ. Nowhere does he cover it better than in Ephesians 3:14-19. He speaks of an understanding of God’s love that is so deep it surpasses knowledge. He speaks of roots that are grounded deep and solidly in the love of God. He prays that the people of Ephesus would be filled with the power of God. Paul’s description of spiritual maturity sounds like much more than the shallow obligatory religion that is lived out by Christian after Christian in our society.
If we desire this maturity for our children we must decide to live in it ourselves. I said decide. Yes, I truly feel that this is a decision. How do we live in a maturity that causes us to understand God’s love enough to have his power deep inside of us? We decide to. It sounds too simple but that’s because it is too simple. This is why we don’t live this way. We prefer to have the tough stuff. We’d rather be concerned about the list of dos and don’ts and our duties and obligations as Christians. We don’t want to just decide to act maturely, we want an act of God, some miracle, to create that maturity inside of us. It just doesn’t seem to work that way. Paul is praying that these people would simply allow God’s love to make them better people. That every action would come from love, and that all knowledge would be learned out of love. This is maturity in Christ. This is what it looks like to be whole.
You see the common denominator? That’s right, L-O-V-E. You’re not whole in Christ until you’re living a life of love. Love for others, love for yourself, love for God, love for the needy and hurting. These are the things Jesus taught and the things he placed highest on His priority list. LOVE! Don’t think about it, JUST LOVE.
Now, back to our kids. Paul’s prayer for Ephesus is one I would pray for my children constantly. Of course I want their roots in the Lord to grow down deep. Of course I want them to have a love of God that surpasses knowledge. I want these things so badly but just like we must decide to live in this maturity, we also have to decide to model it for our kids. A pastor I once had used to say that more is “caught” by your kid’s than is “taught” to your kids. Having three children of my own now and having ministered to teenager after teenager as a youth Pastor I definitely see the truth of that statement. If our goal is kids that are whole in Christ then we have to live a life that is whole in Christ so they will catch it.
So I guess the first key to raising Godly kids has two parts. One: Know what it means to be whole in Christ. Know what a mature relationship with Jesus Christ looks like. Two: Be the example your children need to see in order to achieve this maturity themselves. If we don’t get this down, the rest of the keys aren’t enough. We can pray, talk to our kids, preach to our kids, or anything else until the proverbial cows come home but it’s just not enough. You have to know what it means and decide to live it out for your children to see EVERY SINGLE DAY.Friday we will move on to the second key to raising Godly children. Look forward to seeing you then.
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.