We were gathered around our friends’ dinner table when the question was asked:
What advice would you give on how to raise a godly child?
We all had raised or were still raising kids. So we threw out answers: always listen when your kids need to talk; don’t show if you’re shocked; be kind; etc.
But as I looked around the table, I knew our answers were only partially right. Because among us sat a mom who had done all the “right” things, yet one of her children is struggling as he transitions from adolescence to adulthood.
Had this mom and dad messed up?
No. Definitely not.
Ultimately we can’t take too much credit nor too much blame for how our kids turn out.
While we can influence them, we can’t make anyone godly, just like we can’t make ourselves godly.
It’s a job for God himself.
The best we can do is pray for help in becoming godly parents.
And even then, the desired outcome for our kids is no sure thing.
Emma is a young girl who volunteers regularly at House of the Harvest. A few weeks ago she took it another step further. She got permission from her school principal to put collection cans in the classrooms so other kids could donate change to buy food for those who needed it.
Last Saturday she turned in over $100 that she and her fellow elementary students had collected. Her initiative and love for others at such a young age amazes me.
But when I look at her, I see others behind her: her mother and grandmother also volunteer regularly, at multiple places and in many ways.
The daughter is doing what she sees modeled before her.
- If we want to raise a child that cares about the poor, then we need to care about the poor.
- If we want them to be kind to others, then we show kindness to others (including to them).
- If we want them to love Jesus, then we start by loving Jesus ourselves.
Does that guarantee a godly child?
If we plant the seeds and water the plants and fertilize the soil, we still can’t make anything grow.
True growth takes supernatural powers that we lack.
But we can help by allowing God to change us.
Not only for the good of our children. But for the good of ourselves. For the good of others. And to the glory and by the grace of God.
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What advice would you give on how to raise a godly child? Please share in the comments.
- On the blog – January 2016
- Links, books, and other things I love – February 2016