What is the most important thing we can do to help our child succeed in life?
The most common answer to that last question is likely to be, “Help them to get a good education.” We could discuss at length what success or prosperity looks like and how to know when we have arrived, but in this post I want to make one simple point:
Success and prosperity by God’s standards are vastly different than man’s standards.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. In Psalm 1:3 we can see that God guarantees prosperity for some people.
The people who delight in the Word of God and plant themselves in it regularly will find good success. The Lord says that whatever those people do will prosper.
The most important education your child should receive is from the Word of God, not a textbook.
Instead of having, what I see as an unbalanced focus on good grades and a college education, I think parents should instead shift their primary focus to the principles found in God’s Word. These truths lead to the development of godly character. That’s success!
I understand that may ruffle some feathers, but if I may be so bold, God has less interest in your child’s good grades and more interest in the integrity of your child’s heart.
Very few Christian parents would disagree with that, but we must ask ourselves, “What actually happens in our homes? Do we put a greater emphasis on the grades of our children and the college they will attend than on the development of godly character?” Tough questions for many of us.
How can we change the focus?
1. Start by having less stress and striving over the grades your child brings home.
2. Place a higher priority on reading the bible and applying its principles.
3. Take time to praise and acknowledge your child’s godly maturity.
4. Apply all of life’s situations to what the Word of God says about it.
5. Read the Bible and live out its principles.
God doesn’t send home a report card for your child. Learning the principles found in the Bible will be seen in the fruit of good deeds, choices, friends, habits, and commitments. Look for these things and point them out. Bless your kids by praising them for the growth of their godly character.
I pray that my child will have success in life. Godliness and integrity are more important than good grades and a college education, but sometimes I feel I don’t know how to teach those traits. Help me, Father. I know your Word is more important than any school book. Help us, as a family, have your Word in its proper place. I ask that you will help my child to love your Word and to find success in life that pleases you.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season;
whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
Psalm 1:3 (NKJV)
How do you encourage godly qualities in your kids?
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By Doug Drake
Husband to Debbie, Father of three
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting team member, Children’s Ministry Consultant