Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life. Proverbs 22:6
From years of observation, I’ve observed four disciplines of great parents – great grandparents, too!
First: Cheerful Generosity
We follow the example of our Father in heaven who loved the world so much that He gave His Son.
Spirituality is a soul matter. When you think soul consider mind, will, and emotion. Nothing benefits a healthy mind, a disciplined will, or content emotions than generosity. Mind, will, and emotion are developed in the trust of a relationship.
God starts His relationship with everyone by giving.
The key to your relationship with God is trusting God enough to become generous. He gets to define generosity, which is why scripture teaches tithes and offerings.
A child who hasn’t witnessed generosity in parents will have a suspicious mind and a wavering will.
Generosity sows seeds of faith, confidence, and determination.
Second: An Example
I’ve witnessed the beginnings of great faith in teenagers shattered by the unfaithfulness of parents. It can be with morals, anger, or materialism – children can’t grow in faith, hope, and love unless it is seen in their parents.
I began ministry working with youth. I worked with hundreds of teens raised in local churches and hundreds of teens who weren’t raised in church. Unfortunately, the teens not raised in church were often more serious about following Jesus.
I believe those parents taught religion, not a relationship with Jesus. The church youth grew up detesting dry bones which didn’t lend a reason to avoid the sensuality of teen years.
Impurity becomes the youthful reaction to religion.
Youth not raised in church, who experienced Jesus for the first time as a teen, had a relationship with their Savior that withstood peer pressure.
The greatest commandment is to love. It is also the virtue that Satan counterfeits most.
Love has fruit. Teens must see their parents loving one another and then both parents loving God.
Unfaithful parents who don’t keep commitments make it difficult for children to develop the stubbornness needed for mature relationships.
Love then becomes “in the moment” gratification, instead of a passion for the pursuit of faithfulness.
Jesus said, “Go!” He didn’t say, “Stay and work on your problems.”
Parents and education have become so “self-esteem” focused that kids begin to hate themselves. Like too much chocolate at one sitting.
Telling children a million times that they are valuable, accomplishes little – they never feel worthy until they see God working through them. God gives value as He aligns children with His eternal purposes for their lives.
God created children for mission. Parents need to first know their own calling. Self-esteem is passed from generation to generation by heritage.
The world hates heritage today. And mission too!
Generosity, example, love, and mission: Children won’t depart this faith.