In Matt Chandler and Adam Griffin’s book “Family discipleship”, it says “you (the parent) aren’t just trying to shape godly children; you are helping grow God-fearing adults.”
In other words, as we parent, we are not just seeking to have well-behaved children who understand the bible and don’t get into too much trouble. Our goal is to instill in our children a lifelong love for Jesus, worshiping and fearing God for the entirety of their lives and for eternal life to come. If you’re like me, this idea, although true, can be overwhelming. How do we in our parenting work to build mature, God-fearing adults? What can we do in the day-to-day of parenting?
The answer may seem almost too simple, and in many ways, they are things that you may (hopefully) already be doing. There are three basic, simple things you can do every day to begin to shape your children into Christian maturity. With such a great task as raising mature adults from scratch ahead of us, it is helpful to ask “what can I do today?”. While there are many other good things you could and should do, here are a daily three that make a significant impact:
Pray For Them
I want to say with all of the love in my heart, you can NOT save your children. You do not have the ability and cannot bear that weight. Praying for our children is a reminder to us as parents that God must move and work in our children’s lives and is an opportunity to ask God to do so. As a parent, you may plant the seeds of faith and water those seeds, but God alone provides the increase. This should lead us to pray for our children “without ceasing.”
Pray With Them
Praying with your child does several things. It teaches them that prayer is important to you, that you are relying on the Lord for strength above all else, and that at any time, they can speak with the God who created them and loves them. It may seem awkward at first, but a pattern of praying with your children will open up spiritual communication between parent and child as well as child and God.
Read The Word Together
Research shows that by far the biggest positive impact on adult faith from childhood is that the Bible was regularly read growing up. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be a sermon. But children can only benefit from hearing the very words of God on a regular basis. Remember 2 timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (adult) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Let God speak to your children through His word often, regularly, and daily.
While this isn’t a magic formula, these three basics done regularly will help guide both you as a parent and your children as they grow into Christlikeness as disciples.