Every parent wants their children to succeed. Every Christian parent wants their children to follow the Lord. How do we develop a heart of ministry service in our children? Here are ten powerful tips.
Child rearing is one of the most important jobs on the planet. We only get one chance to raise our children. Before we know it, they will be adults themselves. I am not an expert on child rearing. I have my hands full with my children. My child rearing philosophy is simple. “Obey God the best you can and beg Him to make up the difference.” This article is born out of my personal search of the Scriptures to be a better parent for my children and to help the families of our church. I hope it can help you as well.
I rebel against the idea that children and teens are expected to be petty and selfish. I believe that children reared in Christian homes have the opportunity to be an example of what a believer should be. 1 Tim 4:12 A happy Christian, adult or child, will have a servant’s heart. The heart of ministry is a vital component of Christlikeness. May our children have a heart to serve God!
1. Seek Their True Salvation.
John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Every Christian parent wants their children to be saved. Yet, the decision must be their own. They must have that confidence of salvation through faith, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit’s witness in them. If they need assurance later, don’t discourage them. Just keep preaching the Gospel.
Sometimes, a young child gets scared of the thought of going to Hell before they fully understand the Gospel. The answer is not to leave Hell out of the Gospel. Tell them something like, “You don’t have to go Hell. Just trust Jesus when you are old enough to understand, and you can go to Heaven”. This comforts them and reinforces their need of Christ. Pray for their salvation daily. Beg God to save their souls as soon as they are old enough to understand.
2. Create a Spiritual Environment.
Ephesians 6:1–4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
A godly home must have both nurture and admonition. Each relationship should be defined by love and protected by boundaries. Rules without relationship breed contempt, but so does a relationship without rules.
Create a spiritual environment of prayer, Bible, Church attendance, godliness, kindness, love, correction, etc. in your home. Focus as much on who they are becoming as in what they are doing. Your children should conform to your wishes when they are in your home. Lead them with love and stability. Yet, the true goal is not conformation, but transformation. We must pray that God will transform them into His likeness from the inside to the outside. Ro 12:1-2
3. Live the Same at Church and Home.
2 Timothy 1:5 “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
One of the most damaging things you can do to the spiritual health of your children is to put on a show at church and act like a heathen at home. Strive to be like Jesus all the time! Let your children know that your goal in life is to please the Lord.
Sincere faith is powerful! Your children don’t need you to be a perfect example of Christianity, but they do need you to be real. If you sin in front of them, apologize to them and pray for forgiveness in their presence. Sincere faith can be passed down to your children.
4. Delight in the Commandments of God.
Psalm 112:1–2 “Praise ye the Lord.Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord,That delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: The generation of the upright shall be blessed.”
God’s commandments are not grievous to those that love Him. 1 Jn 5:3 Delight in God’s Word. Have a close relationship with the Bible. Your spouse and children should know how much you love God’s Word and what a privilege it is to live it.
5. Love the Church.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
Be vocal about how much you love God’s House. Talk about it during the week. Never complain that you “have” to go to church. Make sure that you are in a good mood when you wake the kids up Sunday to get ready for church. Put on happy Christian music as people are getting ready. Don’t fight or argue with your spouse before church. Model a love for church. If Jesus loved the church enough to die for it, we should love it enough to promote it to our family.
6. Serve the LORD with gladness.
Psalm 100:2 “Serve the Lord with gladness:Come before his presence with singing.”
Never underestimate the power of a joyful heart. What a privilege it is to serve the Lord! Every child of God should have a ministry in which they serve the Lord.
Often, people get caught up in life and begin serving God out of duty without gladness. Their attitude lets people know that they are not real happy about it. Gladness is contagious. So is negativity. If your children don’t like church, check yourself to see if they learned it from you. Either way, put a smile on your face and enjoy serving Jesus.
7. Protect Them from Church Politics.
1 Corinthians 3:1–5 “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?”
Even the best churches have internal politics. Why? Because churches are filled with sinners. Guess what? Sinners sin. The best of us have our bad days. Church members have opinions. They choose sides. Gossip, backbiting, and strife are too commonplace. Jealousy, envy, and competition rear their ugly heads. It should not be this way! One of these days, our Saviour will take us all to Heaven delivering us from all this foolishness! Until then, we must protect ourselves and our children.
You can rise above all of that mess with God’s help. Don’t get caught up in feuds and disputes. If you are not part of the solution, then don’t become part of the problem. Above all else, protect your children from church politics. Your children shouldn’t know that you don’t like Bro. or Sister So-And-So or that you are upset with the Pastor. Just allow them to fall in love with Jesus!
8. Serve God Together.
Find a ministry where you can serve God as a family. This creates family memories and teaches them to serve the Lord by example. Your family could work on a bus route visiting on Saturday and bringing children to church on Sunday. Your family could clean the church building or work at a nursing home service. Ask your pastor for opportunities at your church. Whatever ministry you join, be consistent and serve joyfully!
9. Explain Your Desire.
Tell your children how much it means to you that they follow Jesus as they grow up. Explain that you know what life without the Lord is like and you don’t want them to learn the destructiveness of sin. Explain that you have worked hard and made difficult decisions in order to protect them from satan and rear them for the Lord. Don’t be shy about it. Teach them that whatever they choose as their vocation, they should always be faithful to the Lord.
10. Obey God the Best You Can and Beg Him to Make Up the Difference.
Job 1:5 “And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”
Every parent is a sinner. We will make mistakes no matter how much we desire to rear our children for the Lord. We will fail to be the right role model at times. It’s easier for a follower to learn the bad habits of a leader than the good ones. God must make up the difference! Job prayed and sacrificed daily for his children’s heart condition. We must obey God the best we can and beg God to make up the difference! Help our children, Lord!
Do you have anything to add? Leave a comment.
Have a blessed day!