I recall the day vividly. It was a Sunday morning before church when I learned I was going to be a father. That same day, Pastor Keith approached my wife and I, and said, “The Lord is telling me your faith has made your family complete.”
I’ll never forget it. I tell the story often because it’s powerful in so many ways, ultimately showcasing the faithfulness of God.
This past week, Pastor Keith said something to the entire church during his sermon that is once again sticking with me: “Imagine if we fed our physical self the way we feed our spiritual self.”
As the father of a 1-year-old, I have a lot of questions. But I know one thing for sure – I want to raise my son according to God’s plan, will, and purpose for his life. When Pastor Keith made that comment, it made me ask how much of my family’s spiritual needs are being fed?
The Bible teaches us that parents’ top priority in child raising should be spiritual: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
We are to instill in our children an unwavering faith that will protect them from the attack of the Devil. The Lord told Pastor Keith that faith made our family whole. And while I will tell my son that story someday, I must demonstrate my own faith for it to truly have an impact. Otherwise, it’s just words.
Often as parents, we talk about leaving an inheritance – and that’s great. There’s obviously nothing wrong with wanting your children to be well-off. However, unlike an earthly inheritance, a spiritual one is conveyed over the course of a lifetime through godly words and actions. As Christian parents, we have the responsibility of training our children in godliness.
You can begin speaking positive truth (spiritual feeding) into your children’s lives any time you want. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Every night, my wife and I read a children’s Bible to our son. Some people will say, that’s foolish, he’s a year old, what can he possibly understand? I refer those people to the book of Hebrews.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Alive and active. My son may not be able to understand, but my wife and I can confidently read and pray scripture over him with powerful effect. And once he is able to understand different passages, it’s up to us to not just read and say the Bible is God’s Word, but treat it as such. Again, it comes back to action, not just talking.
The Bible is a favorite attack point of the skeptics. Chances are our kids will be presented with ample opportunity to hear how it’s an outdated, irrelevant book packed with contradictions. As parents we must teach (and show) our children the truth about God. If we don’t care about it, there’s a strong possibly they won’t, either. As stewards of His gifts, we’re accountable to Him for how we raise our children.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3
While raising kids in the world today can be terrifying, we must not forget that as believers, we have the Holy Spirit residing in us to provide guidance. We possess the wisdom to handle any situation – the Bible says so.
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” – James 1:5
The world may be changing daily, but the Word of God never changes, it always stands truthful.