Robert and I want our son to grow up knowing his identity and to walk in the purpose that he was uniquely created for. We want him to grow up to live a life full of joy, to have a healthy family, and to leave an impact on the world.
We believe that all of the above is possible when we put God-first in our families and stewarding our family well. Often times we see kids raised in a Christian home, but turn away from their faith once they reach college. John and Lisa Bevere are one of our favorite couples. They are on fire for Jesus and all 4 of their boys are in ministry. Not everyone works in ministry and that’s okay too. But, I just love seeing how all 4 of their sons LOVE Jesus and are starting their own God-first families.
This is a topic I am very passionate about. I have been learning and listening to those around me as well as reading books and listening to podcast episodes. Check out John and Lisa Bevere’s Podcast, Conversations with John and Lisa Bevere.
To raise children into healthy and whole adults, these are a few things I have discovered:
We are our children’s examples of what it means to be Christ-like.
How are we walking through struggles in the home? Do we disagree peacefully? What do we do behind closed doors? Can our children see a difference between our lives and the world? Will our children want to love Jesus? A friend of ours told us that the reason why he got saved as a young man, was because he saw how his mother lived it out in their home growing up. I can never forget that statement. My husband and I have a great marriage, but that is not an outcome of lack of work. A good marriage, a solid house takes work. Robert and I are intentional with date nights and praying for each other. Daniel sees us laugh, hug, and give each other foot massages. He sees healthy parents at home, and he has seen us disagree peacefully. If you are a single parent this still applies. Your child needs the healthiest version of you. When dating, what you allow in your life is what your child is going to think is okay.
We have to teach our children to know the Holy Spirit for themselves and how to hear from Him.
Our children need to truly know God, not just know about God. He is real, He listens, and He speaks back. Our son will read his devotional, then something will happen that day, and it was exactly what he had read that morning. It happens more times than not with him. We have pointed it out, so he can see how much God loves him that he speaks to him too. Also, we are intentional about spending time worshiping and praying as a family. Daniel has prayed with us for healing, he’s anointed our home with us, and he is familiar with spiritual warfare and how to fight in prayer.
Our children want/need to be included.
Your life may look similar to ours working and serving. We never want our son to feel like ministry is taking away from the family and that he is not important. How can we as believers incorporate our children in our serving roles once in a while? This can be dependent on their ages. I went on a hospital visit with a family to be the translator. The pastor, his wife, and their teenage children all came to pray for the gentleman in the hospital. I loved seeing how they bring their children to do hospital visits. Our other friends have a homeless outreach where they feed them lunch and spread the gospel one Saturday a month called Lunch on Jesus. They incorporate their 7 year old daughter to pass out bibles and make lunches with them. This little girl is going to grow up with purpose and feels included. She is going to see God do amazing things through her parents and even herself. With our son being 9 years old, we have him serve with us in the ways that he can such as making videos for our website, helping in food or sport outreaches, picking up cones in the parking lot, or even greeting once in a while. It is not every time that he can help serve, but we incorporate him as often as possible where we think he would like. This leads to my next point.
Spend time doing what your child loves.
I have noticed sometimes we as people have the tendency to spend time with God, go to church and even serve, but not spend quality time with our children in the way they want. Don’t try to make your child into something they are not. Daniel loves playing sports and is currently on a baseball team. He chose to play baseball and even football previously. We spend a lot of time together at practices, games, or even throwing the ball outside. Not all children are athletes and that is okay; find what works best for each child. Also, we like to play board games at least once a week, and let Daniel pick out the game that we play. Pray about some ways you can spend time together as a family. Click here to read a previous post of our’s about family quality time ideas.
We desire every family to be whole and to grow closer to God together. Our family is always learning too, and I wanted to share what we have learned so far from others. I hope these points give you some ideas for your family. You know we love to hear from you, so please comment below with any questions or wisdom to share. 🙂