Raising children is a daunting task, especially when seeing it as raising the next generation of Believers. What if I mess up? What’s the best way to discipline? How do I raise them to love Jesus? You can never be too prepared for what’s coming next, and you’re overwhelmed by trying to keep your sweet child alive. Whether you’re a parent to a baby, toddler, little kid, pre-teen, teenager, or young adult, you have the ability to lead them closer to Christ every day of your life. Here are 3 ways that we can point our children to Christ in the way we live:
1. Spend time with your child with God
Don’t underestimate the power of simply praying with your child at night. They will hear your words, begin repeating them, and this will get ingrained in their minds. Pray before eating, and eventually ask your child to pray over dinner. This is a great way of teaching your child what a relationship with Christ starts as. Simple prayer. Relying on Christ to provide you with food, protect you, and bless your day. Also reading the Bible with your child every night is a great way to teach them the importance of diving into God’s Word. If they’re young you can read The Jesus Storybook Bible so they can easily understand Bible stories, but as they grow customize this time with them. Begin to read an easy translation with them, then harder ones. Start with explaining what the stories mean, then go on to ask them what they think it means. Eventually they’ll do it by themselves if this becomes a consistent routine in their lives. Spending time with God is important, and showing, not just telling, your child how to do it will help them figure out how to have this time with Him.
2. Bring your child to church and talk about the sermon
It’s so important to have your child in church as they grow up. This doesn’t mean bring your child to church when it’s convenient or only on Easter/Christmas/Mothers’ Day, but every single Sunday. And, if your church has a children’s service on Sunday and Wednesday nights, have them go to those. If they have a children’s choir, have them join. Get them in the church, have them make relationships with other church kids, and teach them how to live in fellowship with other believers. Not only does a child need to be in church, but it’s also important to ask them what they learned at church and start up a conversation. It’ll help them truly think about what is being said at church. Their faith is eventually going to be tested once they grow up, and if they don’t know what it looks like to go to church and be active within the church, then that won’t be a priority for them once they leave the nest.
3. Go on family mission trips
Mission trips are a great way to spread the Gospel, what better way to be a display of Christ for your family than going on a mission trip with your family. Your kids will see what being the hands and feet of Jesus looks like, and they’ll begin to desire to return over and over again. Family mission trips not only share the love of Christ to others, but they also strengthen your family’s relationship with God and your relationships within your family. How amazing of an experience would it be to go with your spouse and children on a family mission trip to make a difference in the lives of other families in another country or another state. You are able to show your children how to love others and spread the Gospel, and they will see this. They will come back home seeing you in a different way along with seeing God and their relationship with Him in a different way.
God is good, and God will work in your child’s life. However, always remember that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You are not responsible for the faith of your child, however it is our responsibility to raise them in a Christ glorifying way, pointing them to Christ in every way possible. Pray over them, lead them, love them.
2 Timothy 3:14-15 NIV
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Proverbs 22: 6 NIV
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”