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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Christian Goals for Child Rearing


What are some Christian goals for rearing children?

1. To know the Lord as his Savior—The most important thing you can do for your child is to introduce him to Jesus. Read to him about Jesus from the time he is small. Be part of a church that preaches the gospel—that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose again—and that we can receive His gift of salvation. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Romans 6:23; John 1:12) Help your child understand that sin includes lying, stealing, and being disobedient to parents. Make sure your child hears the simple plan of salvation over and over again. Do not push him into any kind of a decision. Let the Holy Spirit deal with his heart so that when your child is convicted of his sin and he responds, it will be his own genuine decision.

2. For the child to read the Bible and pray on his own—Your child’s quiet time habits should be encouraged, once he knows the Lord. It is wonderful when your children see that Bible reading, study, and prayer are a priority in your life. You can encourage daily Bible reading by giving them a specific time during their day. Once they start—maybe at first with devotions for children—it will become a habit that feeds them spiritually.

3. To have godly character—Deuteronomy 6:5-7 is a great outline for teaching godly character to our children. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. Notice that this teaching begins with the parents. First, we love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and might. Then, we teach these values in a natural way when we are with our children. (A future post will be on godly character traits to teach your children.) Notice from Deuteronomy 6:6, that Christian character comes from knowing God’s Word.

4. To be active in ministry—The future of our churches depends on passing more than our faith on to the next generation. We also need to share our love for Christian service. Help your child enjoy doing things at church. The best way is to involve children from very small on up. To do that, find a ministry to do with them as a family.

Here are some ideas for ministry you might consider doing with your children:
  • Tract distribution
  • Helping to clean the church (or organize hymn books, fold bulletins, etc.—anything that physically helps out in your church)
  • Music—children’s choir, instrumental, orchestra, piano
  • Gardening around the church
  • Helping to decorate for banquets and other special occasions. Any child can help set the table or help blow up balloons.
  • Volunteering to help in a nursing home or residence ministry
  • Car washes, bake sales, or any other fund raiser for mission teams
  • Go as a family for short-term foreign missions trip. (Not for babies, but even children as small as six will catch the vision.)
  • Older children can help in nursery, day care, Christian camps, and Sunday school classes.
  • If you don’t know what needs to be done, ask your pastor. I’m sure he will have an idea for your family.

5. To have genuine faith and trust in the Lord’s power, guidance, and sovereignty. Have your children memorize Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be transparent about praying and seeing God answer. Show by example how you trust God to do His will. Verse 6 says to acknowledge (trust) God in everything, and He will direct us. This is very important: that young people learn to yield their will to God’s.

6. To seek God’s will (or calling) for his life. God has a purpose for every Christian. It is important for a young person to consider what God might want him to do when he makes the choices about studying, apprenticeships, and life calling. God usually reveals these things step by step, not all at once. (If you had told me when I graduated from high school that I would be a missionary wife in Europe, I probably would have been thrilled, but I never would have dreamed of such a thing! I did, however, know without a doubt that God had guided my choice of university, and each college year, I realized how God was confirming me in my chosen major. I was called to surrender my will completely to the Lord my freshman year. I actually asked God to send me (Isaiah 6:8). At the time, I had no idea I was being called to missions; I only knew I needed to be willing to be sent anywhere.) Make sure your child understands that whatever God wants him to do is a sacred calling. Also, teach him that God always wants what’s best for us. Your child will be happiest in God’s will.

7. To prepare himself for service. I believe strongly that both young men and women should be educated, well-read, and prepared to do what God has called them to do. God will guide as to where, when, and what to study or prepare for. God uses people in all walks of life, and each Christian touches the lives of those around them in a different way. Your child needs to be ready to do the job God wants him to do. (I plan to elaborate on this in a future post.) A prepared Christian relying on the Lord is an effective Christian.

I’m sure you have probably thought of something I haven’t. Please comment and share! Stay tuned for more posts on preparing our children for adulthood.

6 comments:

  1. This is GREAT! Many years ago, someone told me that if I set a goal, it will be much easier to plan out a path toward that goal. Here was my goal statement: "To train my children to independently glorify God." Sounds like a broad goal, but even just writing down that goal helped me to plan homeschooling, including them in ministry, housework... everything! This post really helps lay out the practicle. Thank you! :-)

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    1. I like your goal statement. It's certainly one that will keep you focused and on track, whatever your child's innate personality and gifts. Thanks for sharing! God bless you as you teach your kids, Charity!

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  2. This probably goes under character training, but integrity and excellence need to be a part of their instruction. In a secular job (which even those training for the ministry will be involved in at some point along the way), these things are a better part of your testimony than Bible studies during lunchtime or invitations to church activities. It impacts ministry as well. Once at one church when I was in charge of a table of ladies making felt wordless books for a missionary, when we were done we realized a bunch of them were in the wrong order. One lady said, "Oh, well, they'll get the idea." :-(

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. You're right, and I appreciate your comment. This is so important. God bless you!

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    1. Thank you, Tere, for your comment. Bless you.

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