Guest Post- A Few Thoughts on Raising the Next Generation by Annie Spell
As Christians, we are entrusted with laying a strong foundation of Biblical truth for our children, as well as modeling what our faith in Jesus looks like on a daily basis. It is so very important for us to remember that our children are ALWAYS watching our actions and listening to our words. We must protect them from things they are not ready for yet at very young ages. Their little souls are not ready to handle adult things like Fast & Furious movies or music with sexually explicit lyrics.
We were very careful with our kids, maybe even too much because David was a policeman. We knew things that others didn't experience in their daily lives. The terrible things that humans can do to one another was a reality for us. But our children were safe and we made sure that the atmosphere in our home was happy and light.
If we had a fight, we forgave each other in front of our girls so that they would learn this was the right thing to do. When we have kids, we realize how much God has forgiven us because we lose patience with them so often and we also need to ask for their forgiveness regularly. Modeling forgiveness to our children can be very humbling but it is the only way that they will learn how important it is.
David and I decided to put aside our own musical preferences for classic rock and roll and we chose to play Christian music, which feeds the soul and brings a spirit of peace into the home. For me, music was a source of much disruption as a teenager. It was very important to us that our small children had a home filled with the presence of God as much as we could manage.
We also taught our girls Bible stories. We did not want to leave that for the Sunday school teachers. It is our job as parents to explain the simple truths of the Bible to our children early in their lives so they have a rock on which to build their own faith. What does the Bible say about anger? Selfishness? Jealousy? Sharing toys? There are stories all throughout the Old and New Testaments that teach us how to act and what to do in any situation. We just have to find them and share them with our children.
One of the most important things we can do with small children is to teach them to PRAY! A child can be as full of the Holy Spirit as an adult, and their prayers are so pure! Encourage them to talk about their feelings, help them to forgive and forget when they are hurt by others, and teach them that JESUS is the answer to every question and every problem.
If we can put aside our own desires and concentrate on what our children need, when they are older they will make great choices. Because we have allowed them the freedom to know Christ, they have a foundation for their own faith. There is no more fulfilling job than that of steering our children toward a Heavenly home!
David and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches throughout the country. Would you consider joining our support team? Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!