4 Ways to Help Our Children Reach Their Spiritual Potential – Crosswalk.com

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The fight for the spiritual potential of the next generation began all the way back when sin entered the story of human history. Genesis 3:15 tells us, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.” Basically, a part of the curse that came after the fall of humanity was that our children would be at odds with the evil one. 
Throughout the Bible, we see how children are targeted when God is on the move. When Moses was born, the Egyptian babies were ordered to be killed by Pharaoh, which led his mother to put him in a basket and send him down the Nile. When Jesus was on his way, Herod ordered that all males under two be killed, causing Mary and Joseph to flee their home in order to protect their son. The Devil does not want our children to reach their full potential. We see this battle continuing for the hearts and minds of the young generation even now. 
Thankfully we are not helpless or powerless against the pull of the evil one on the lives of our children. The Bible tells us that one that lives in us is greater than the one that is in the world (1 John 4:4). Nonetheless, we are called to engage in this fight with an active faith. Nehemiah 4:14 commands us not to be afraid and to fight for our families. 
How do we begin to fight for our families? How do we see past our everyday conflicts and recognize there is a spiritual battle going on for our homes?

Here are some ways we can help our children reach their spiritual potential: 
Who we are is shaped primarily by the people invested in our lives! We are influenced both positively and negatively by our friends. We will live out the values that match those who are closest to us even when they aren’t around.

We have to know who our kids are spending time with. We need to be a part of their online conversation and interactions. It’s important that we invest in their school friends, church friends, sports friends, and more so we can understand how they are being shaped. Parents, it’s also our job to intervene when we see a relationship is having a negative impact on our child. Not all people are safe people, and that’s a vitally important life skill to teach your child from a young age. 
Our marriages are vitally important to invest in so our children see how to love others well. Divorce sometimes is necessary for the betterment of a family, but it’s always traumatic. God can work out every story for his good, and there’s no shame if you have walked through a divorce. But whenever we can, we need to do our part to invest in healthy marriages that are intended to last a lifetime. Malachi 2:14-16 warns that when we are not faithful to our marriages, our offspring are put at risk. We must protect our homes from fractures that happen when our marriage fails.
We are each made on purpose for a purpose! Guess what? That purpose is outlined for each and every one of us in God’s Word. Our kids need to know what the Bible teaches so they can know that they were made for such a time as this. The culture is working double time to sow chaos into the truth of our design. It tells us that we are defined by so many things that matter little in God’s Kingdom. We are finding identity in our sexuality, gender, successes, wealth, status, number of followers, beauty, and so much more. The lie that we are in control of who we were made to be is also prolific. The best way to guard our hearts against the cunning confusion the enemy has created in our world is to let God’s Word be the lamp for their feet! 
Our kids need to know the author of who they are in order to understand who they were created to be. We are all unique and so valuable in the eyes of the Lord. That is a truth our kids need to be shared with them daily. 

3. Teach Our Kids to Put Others First 

Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” This may be one of the most counter-cultural verses we could cite right now. The world is telling us all it’s about one person: ME. We are a selfie world. It’s about our own rights, identity, entertainment, success, well-being, joy, and the list goes on!
Without teaching our kids how to serve, they grow a spirit of entitlement. When we feel entitled to things, it’s very hard to understand our need for a Savior and also difficult to see others as made in the image of God, worth consideration and our service. Find ways to make your family uncomfortable by serving others well. Guess what? You will all reap such joy from going out of your way to love others beyond reason because that’s how it’s done in God’s kingdom. 
Did you know it’s possible to have a dead faith? The Bible teaches in Matthew 15:8-9 that there will be people who honor God with their lips and actions, but once they pass away, God will not know them because their hearts were far from him. Christianity was designed to be a relationship, not a religion. If you lack a personal relationship with Jesus, your children will know. So much of what we teach our kids is caught, not taught. They will know that your heart is not His. We must be people that model real faith. Let our kids see us with the Bible out of the kitchen table. Share our struggles and also let them know when God comes through for us. Live according to God’s Word; this is the best gift you could ever give your children. 
Our families are our legacy. Ultimately there are no guarantees for us parents when it comes to the choices our children will make. All we can do is be obedient to follow God’s Word, and the rest is up to God and them. No matter where your kids are right now in their relationship with God, we can have hope that God’s grace is sufficient to meet their every need and question. Let’s be people that live our faith out loud, believing that the generation to come will usher in new waves of revival for our world.

Photo Credit: © Getty Images/jacoblund
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God’s Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.
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