Do you know one very simple Biblical principle that you can apply to help your child develop into a spiritually mature teen or adult?
(In a moment, I’ll share it with you.)
I once told one of my daughters- I hoped she would learn to walk closer to Jesus than anyone ever has.
That was a mistake.
It was too big of a dream and too big of a leap for her to believe. I should not have given her my big picture vision that I had for her and her two sisters.
Just like the Lord wants for all of us, I want my girls to walk perfectly in the Lord’s path.
I need to remember that perfection is too big of a vision for my children.
My responsibility as a father is to help them grow steadily into maturity. One small step at a time is better than one giant leap to maturity.
Jesus told his disciples that he could not reveal everything he knew to them because they were not ready for it. In the same way, we need to support and love our children as they grow in faith; one small step at a time.
So what is that biblical principle that leads to spiritual maturity?
Teach your child to meditate on (think about) the Word of God by asking simple questions as you read.
It may seem like a big challenge for young kids, but it is not. First, do your child a huge favor by pre-reading the passage of scripture you will read. Find a short paragraph or story to which your child can relate. The Gospels have many stories of interest for kids.
For instance, you might choose the story of Jesus healing the sick man by the pool (John 5:1-9). Before you start the story say something like, “I have a story about a sad man sitting beside a pool. Are you ready?”
After the story, you could ask, “What do you think the man was thinking when he had nobody to help him? What do you think he thought about Jesus after he healed him?”
These questions should be designed to get your child to think, feel, and imagine what it would be like to be “in the story”.
This asking-reading-asking-thinking process helps the child to go further than a simple reading of scripture.
And…go ahead and SHARE the secret!
Help me to raise ____________ to love you and your Word. Help me obey the very simple command of reading your Word in the morning and evening with my child, overcoming the many distractions and noises, and learning to become quiet and meditate on your Word.
In the mighty Name of Jesus, I ask this for my child and our family.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalm 1:2 (KJV)
Other verses on mediation you may want to look up: Joshua 1:9, Philippians 4:8, 1 Timothy 4:15.
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What ways have you implemented to encourage your child’s spiritual growth?
By Doug Drake
Husband to Debbie, Father of three
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting team member, Children’s Ministry Consultant