Bring them up with discipline and instruction approved by the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4
My 3 year old has a small chair she takes around the house with her. Everywhere. It is useful for her to climb up and get a glass out of the cupboard (without permission), to sit on while watching a show in the living room, to do death defying jumps off of random things, and well, it just helps her get in trouble. The chair is sturdy with four very fat legs. It has lasted through 3 children because of its stability.
I realize my daughter is a lot like this chair. In fact, all kids are like chairs (trust me, I’m going somewhere with this) – each one needs four legs to be stable and complete. In Luke (2:52) it says the four legs are wisdom (learning), stature (physical growth), favor with God (a relationship with our Savior), and favor with men (relationships with others).
Many times parents work hard in three of these areas, making sure their children have a successful education, are healthy and growing, and are surrounded by good friends. However, the fourth leg, a child’s spiritual life, is sometimes neglected. Just as a chair missing a leg would wobble, so will a child without the stability of faith in God.
To help your child develop that fourth leg, make church attendance a priority. In our family we go to church and Sunday school on Sunday mornings, serve in nursery, attend a small group on Sunday nights, and go as a family on Wednesday nights. We are involved with the kids program (I act in the plays) and our oldest loves going to youth group. We sound awesome, right? Wrong. We DON’T have it all together; however we are intentional with our kids and church. This is the key. Introducing them to opportunities in the church is a wonderful way to start building that relationship with God.
Another key is that it doesn’t stop with church. We pray at night and at meals. We discipline biblically (that is for another blog). We talk about God often in our home. We reinforce lessons learned in church or at home. We sincerely want to see our children grow in their relationship with the Lord.
One thing we do lack in is scripture. This year, I want my kids to see me reading my Bible more and applying that knowledge in my daily life. I want to be able to have a verse ready in my head that might address a problem my kids might be facing. I want to instill a love of going to God’s word first and obeying His infinite wisdom. This is my prayer for the year. That my children see all four legs in me.
I’m glad we found a church that believes in the 4 legs – knowledge, stature, community, and knowing God – so we can continue to be intentional parents. I’m glad their character is molded by instruction and interaction from other believers. I love watching my girls’ faith in God grow and become an integral part of their lives.
Please feel free to share what you do to help your children grow closer to the Lord. Thanks!
A boy brought up in Sunday school is seldom brought up in the courts. – Dr. Clay Risley