Helping Your Kids Develop A Deep Relationship With God
In the first blog in this series about raising children with a complete identity, I drew an analogy between parenting and archery and bowling. I wrote this:
You have to know what you’re aiming for when you think about raising your children. What does your bull’s-eye look like? What would you consider a strike? Being intentional is wise. Having strategies to help you accomplish your goals makes it more likely that you will be successful.
Do you agree with me that it may be most important to have strategies for developing children’s spiritual identity? As important as the other identities are, if you’re raising your children to value faith and a personal relationship with Jesus, then strategies definitely matter.
But, first, what’s your bull’s-eye? What’s a strike when it comes to their spiritual growth and identity? Do they know? Do they agree? Knowing your goal – your bull’s-eye and strike – will help you determine strategies.
When asking 7th graders in June what they would consider a high compliment in the spiritual category, they answered with these phrases:
- Be a good Christian with actions.
- Close to God, godly man
- On the right path
- Christ follower, faithful
- Christ follower, disciple maker, missionary, the hands and feet of Christ, Christian
- Believer, passionate, bright from the inside
- Disciple maker, believer
- Have a strong faith in God
- Close to God
- Christian, heart for Christ, faithful
Like with the other identities, their answers encouraged me. If these were my children, I’d be pleased. Do you see something here that you hope your children would list? What’s missing that you’d love them to aspire to?
I encourage you to make a list. Ask your children what they’d list and compare. This will help you see if they’re catching what matters to you and/or if you need to talk about everything more.
Once you’re set on some spiritual goals, then think about the strategies. How will you partner with God to try to cause your children to become who you want them to be?
What role will each of these play? Why?
- Worship (Private and corporately)
- Church attendance (youth group, Sunday school, children’s church)
- Church involvement/volunteering
- Bible reading
- Bible study
- Scripture memorization
- Quiet time
- Family devotions
Again, look at the list you made of goals for your child’s spiritual development. I hope you have more statements like, “Loves God” and “Spending time with God is important” than “Prays daily” and “Reads the Bible.”
Let’s always remember and explain that we do what we do to become who we are.
Read that sentence again. I hope you agree! We read the Bible to become devoted to God’s truths, to fall in love with God, and to discover how to live rightly. Pray to develop a more intimate relationship with God. We give to become more aware of needs and to discover God is generous. We fast to increase our reliance on God and to grow our faith.
You get the idea. Talk with your kids about who you hope they are spiritually and how you’d love to help them become those things by doing what’s relevant.
You can read the earlier blogs in this series here:
Introduction to blog series about a complete identity