Last week I had lunch with an older lady who is a member of the church where I preach. The lady lives in an independent home for retirees but because of some health problems, she is not always able to join our Sunday worship gatherings. So I thought it would be a great way to encourage her. My daughter, who is seven years old, asked if she could come. At first, I started to say no but wisely said yes and my daughter wound up bring smiles and cheers to many of the residents.
I’ve always tried to involve my children in ministry opportunities I was involved in. On one occasion I unknowingly brought my daughter into a very perilous situation and so I have become a little more discerning about when I bring my children with me. Nevertheless, I want them to be involved with ministries that my wife and I are involved in because I want them to see what Christian faith looks like in live action. In other words, I don’t want my children to just hear my wife and I talking about following Jesus. Rather, I want them to see how we follow Jesus by participating with us in “gospel” activities.
This has me thinking about raising Christian children. Every Christian parent wants nothing more for their children than for them to grow up and become faithful Christians themselves. But…how do we raise children to be Christians?
Well, that is obviously a big question to which a lot can be said and none of which will guarantee the results we want. However, if you are a Christian raising children then please take these two suggestions as helpful advise that will help you raise faithful followers of Jesus.
- Be 100% committed to Jesus Christ in the way you speak and act. Our children our watching us and learning from us. They are learning from us what is of value and what is worth believing in. If they observe us living our lives for our careers, recreation hobbies, politics, etc… then we are telling them that following Jesus takes a backseat to all these activities. That doesn’t mean that our careers, hobbies, and families are wrong but we must keep them in perspective.
- Involve our children in your various ministry activities. Discipleship is a way of life that is learned in the doing. Sunday Schools, VBS programs, etc… are nice but our children need to see our faith-in-action so that they begin to see how faith works. If we take our children with us to visit others, serve others, etc… then it should provide some opportunities for us to have some great teaching conversations with them about following Jesus.
I hope these two suggestions will help us in the raising of Christian children. May God bless us with wisdom and grace as we make disciples out of the most precious gifts entrusted to our care…our children!