Christian parents want to know how to train up a child in a godly way. And children’s ministry workers can help them by sharing valuable tips. People think they know everything about parenting until they have kids. Then they realize they don’t know nearly as much as they thought they did!
Parenting is one of life’s most rewarding but challenging roles. And if you’re in children’s ministry, you’re not only pouring into your own kids but into other people’s kids. More importantly, you should be pouring into the parents of kids in your ministry. Parents play the most critical role in kids growing up to love Jesus.
Sounds like a lot of responsibility on our part, doesn’t it? How do we teach parents how to train up a child in a godly way? How can we equip parents to lead their kids spiritually?
My two sons are both adults now. Despite all the mistakes I’ve made, they love Jesus and His church. I don’t have all the answers…but who does? But I have seen some commonalities in parents whose kids grow up to love Jesus.
Let me preface this list by saying it doesn’t override a child’s free will. Each person must decide for themselves whether they will follow Jesus. God doesn’t have any grandchildren.
I know what you’re thinking. “But what about Proverbs 22:6—’Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it’?” You can read more about my thoughts on this verse here.
Yet we can equip parents to create homes that are fertile soil for kids to grow in their faith.
10 Tips: How to Train Up a Child in a Godly Way
1. Walk the Talk
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Your kids can’t hear what you’re saying because what you’re doing is speaking so loudly.” Isn’t that true? Parents who raise kids who love Jesus don’t live a double life. This doesn’t mean they’re perfect, but it does mean they follow Jesus every day of the week. They practice what they preach. They lead by example.
2. Affirm the Gift
Christian parents see the gifts that God has given their child and they affirm those gifts. The words “I believe in you” echo in their child’s ears. They move beyond calling their child “out” to calling their child “up” to be all that God intended them to be. Kids who don’t receive affirmation often go looking for it in all the wrong places.
3. Read the Word
Kids who grow up to love Jesus have parents whose Bibles are worn out. And it’s not from sitting in the hot sun on the car dashboard all week, waiting to be grabbed next Sunday at church. It’s from being read each day, in front of kids and with kids.