I’ve got six kids.
But until I finish raising all of my kids and all of them turn out okay, I’ll never say that I personally have the advice to give you on parenting.
Because really… the Bible says all you and I need to know about raising a child.
We read in Deuteronomy 6:5-7…
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
As the Body of Christ, we can send missionaries to every continent in the world. But if we don’t reach our children for Christ, we have not honored God with the opportunity of raising a child.
In many ways, parenting is not a parenting issue. It’s a gospel issue. There’s a difference between being a good parent raising good kids and being a gospel parent raising disciples.
Do you know what happens to children if you take them to the doctor when they’re sick and you feed them three times a day? They get bigger. It’s the strangest thing. I have no idea. I have no experience in pediatrics. But I know that since my children came home from the hospital, we’ve fed them and gotten them treatment when they were sick, and they’ve just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Animals can raise offspring. It doesn’t take anything special to be a decent person who feeds, clothes and cares for kids. That’s a given.
But I’m not raising animals in my house. I’m raising children of the Living God.
Psalm 127: 3-4 tells us…
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.”
I want my children to be warriors who shoot into the heart for their love of their Savior and their desire to honor Him.
So how do you raise a godly child? Here’s what you have to understand…
You cannot give your children what you do not have yourself. You can’t teach them what you haven’t learned. They won’t worship if you don’t worship. They won’t pray if you don’t pray. They won’t understand sacrificial giving if you don’t give sacrificially. They won’t follow Jesus passionately until they see you following Jesus passionately.
I don’t have 17 techniques for raising a godly child.
I have one Savior.
And my Savior says, “If you follow Me, walk with Me, pray to Me, worship Me, and submit to Me, I will change you. And when I change you, I will change your children through you.”
If you want your children to have a real relationship with Christ that informs every area of their life, then YOU have to have a real relationship with Christ that informs every area of YOUR life.
And as you do, your faithfulness will spill over and splash into their existence. They may struggle with things you never struggled with, and they may have victory over things you still struggle with. They are unique and given to you with their own personalities.
But you are positioning them for a life full of purpose and hope.