There are many things in life that we strive to achieve for ourselves and for our children--self-worth, education, and success are a few. But what do you want most for your children--a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Then you desire for your children to seek God.
If you want your children to learn to seek God early in life, you must show them how by your words and actions.
Seeking God means God is part of your life. You desire to find out what God is like. You want to fellowship with Him more intimately. You long to follow Him more closely.
Through your attitudes and actions you seek God. When you long to know God with all your heart--diligently, continually, confidently, and humbly. When you spend time studying the Bible. When you pray. When you are aware of how God is working in your circumstances. When you listen and take notes of sermons based on God's Word. When you observe God's actions in the lives of others.
What do your children see you thirsting for most? Is it a desire to know God in a greater way? Do your children want this for themselves?
God desires that we would hunger after Him, thirst after Him, and seek after Him more than any other thing in the world.
We can get bogged down with personal interests, trying circumstances, and the desire for more material possessions. While these things in themselves are not wrong, they will not bring us peace, contentment, or security that our souls crave. Only a life that is filled with Christ and spent seeking Him will be filled with joy and genuine happiness.
As parents, you must learn to talk with your children about seeking God first. Share with them specific experiences you've had walking with Christ. Communicate with them about God's will in their lives. Help them understand that God will speak to their hearts and give them understanding.
Your actions are as important, if not more so, than your words. Let them see you reading the Bible and ask them to read with you.
Let them see you praying, and encourage them to pray with you. Let them hear you talking about God, and include them in your dialogue.
As a disciple of Christ, you are challenged to make seeking God the priority of your life. Children of all ages mimic what they see. If you call out to God when you get hurt, so will they. If you seek God in prayer in the midst of a difficult situation, they will also. As children mature, they recognize the difference between words and action.
It is only when you know for yourself who God is that you can you impart His greatness and love to your children. They want to know from your personal experience what God is like and what it means to have an intimate relationship with Christ.
You must know for yourself what the will of God is for your life, before you can help your child or someone else discover God's will for theirs.
When you know how to trust the future to God, you are then able to help others do the same.
There are many distractions in life. It takes time and effort to develop a close, personal walk with Christ. It takes patience to spend time with your children, teaching them the ways of God.
As a parent you want your children to succeed. You want to provide for their needs and wants. These are worthy desires. However, the challenge is to not let them become your sole focus or your children's.
So how do you build a hedge of protection around your children? Dr. Stanley says, "You teach them early in life to seek God and you teach them how by your example."
You will reap the benefits of teaching your children more about God and how to seek Him. Your relationship with Christ will be deeper and your bond with your children will be stronger.
Your children are influenced by how they see you devote your time and energy. As you spend time developing your walk with Christ, your family will be blessed, and you will see God work in unimaginable ways.
Dr. Stanley reminds us that "God wants us to know Him as the God who loves us unconditionally. He wants us to know Him as the God who empowers us and enables us in every single circumstance of life to do our best and to do it well."
What could be better than that for you and your children?
Copyright © January IN TOUCH magazine
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