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Turning Out Kids

People, View from the pew

Children are a heritage from the LORD – Psalm 127:3

‘What did you do to get your kids to turn out so well?’  I have often been asked this question by Christian parents I know who are genuinely concerned to raise their kids to know and love the Lord.

Our kids are not perfect kids (or even now, perfect adults). We are not perfect parents.  While it is flattering to have others think we did a great job, the true answer to the question is that they are who they are by God’s grace.

Don’t get me wrong – there were certain things we did, and things that happened that were helpful – but ultimately, we committed them to God and asked Him to bless our efforts. He did the work in them to make them the young people they turned out to be.

There are no formulas and no guarantees. But looking back, I can suggest a number of things that I think every Christian parent should do as they seek to raise their children in the knowledge and love of the Lord:

  • Pray for them.
  • Read the Bible and pray with them daily (from the time they are born!)
  • Seek the wisdom of godly Christian parents (or grandparents!) you admire.
  • Read books about Christian parenting.
  • Talk about God with them in a natural way from their earliest days (Deuteronomy 6).
  • Answer hard questions honestly.
  • Make church – and therefore kids’ church – an absolute priority for yourselves.
  • Surround yourself and your kids with like-minded people so they hear a consistent message and see it lived out around them.
  • Take up every opportunity for them to hear God’s word and meet Christian people -e.g. holiday camps, youth and family conventions.
  • Encourage their own reading by giving age appropriate Christian books to read.

It is so important to live out your faith in front of your children – they are watching and can quickly tell if faith is genuine. This is why church should be an absolute priority.  Prioritising meeting together around God’s word shows that you take following Christ seriously and are fully committed to growing as a Christian and serving in the church.

Finally, a word about the importance of youth group… Do all you can to encourage your child (or grandchild) to be at youth group each week. There they will build connections with other young Christians and be mentored in their faith by godly young leaders who selflessly give of their time and energy to disciple them.  Don’t let your kids opt out of this – make it a priority to get them there each week. It’s of vital importance. Greg and I are so thankful to God for the wonderful youth leaders who faithfully discipled our children.

‘These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ Deuteronomy 6: 6-7

Warm regards,
Megan Engel
(5pm member)

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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong