Most of the believers I know have a strong desire to raise their children to be godly; to be passionate followers of Christ.
Years ago, before I even had children, God laid on my heart to develop a plan for my fathering. Though at the time I didn’t put this on paper, over the years I have begun to write it down in an effort to encourage other parents to have a plan for their parenting in the area of spiritual development.
That plan was covered in previous posts—this is an expansion of that—but in addition to having a plan, we thought through as a couple actions which could help attain our plan for parenting.
You can have the best plan in the world, but with no steps to implement them they will just be pretty words on paper. That’s true in every area of our life, including parenting.
One of the things we wanted to see was our children following after Christ. We wanted to instill godly principles in their life. These are some specific suggestions we thought through for the spiritual development part of our plan. You can use a similar approach but alter them to fit your own plan, life situations and the individualities of your children. This is what we did. And by God’s grace—and so far—with two adult children who love and serve Jesus—it is working.
Although, I would say these should be good suggestions for any parent.
Here are 10 suggestions for raising godly children:
Realize that raising godly children does not usually happen by accident. It will require proper planning and implementation. You can’t just “hope” for the Bible to impact the life of your children. You’ll have to work at it daily.
Know what you want your children to look like as adults. Ultimately, as I said before, we wanted our boys to be like Christ, so He became the primary model we used. We talked about Jesus often. He was no stranger in our home—not just a Sunday occurrence.
Define for them what it means to be a Christ follower. For me, that definition is one who knows what God requires of him and is willing to do whatever it takes to meet that requirement. We wanted our boys to understand that was not just a term, it was a life mission.
Strive to live like Christ personally. I realized early in parenting that our boys would each, in many ways, be copycats of both of us—but especially me. Because of that, we were conscious of the fact they must see us willing to live out our own definition of who a Christ follower is—being willing to walk by faith, even when we didn’t understand all He was doing—which was often. We had numerous hard seasons of life when the boys were little. We wanted them to see us handling the stress of life by seeking Christ’s input into our situations.
Have basic principles of spiritual growth that you want each child to learn. For me those were:
- How to hear from God.
- The importance of prayer.
- What it means to be a student of God’s Word.
- The act of surrendering to God’s will.
- To apply Scripture to daily life.