As Christians, obviously, we want our kids to grow up to not only believe in God but to truly know Him and make their faith their own. But as a parent, how do you hone in on the most important lessons to teach your kids without burying them under a set of rules? After all, kids are selfish. I mean, aren’t we all when we’re really honest? But perhaps it’s that recognition of selfishness (and perhaps the all-too-familiar memories of past mistakes) that drives us as parents to want something different for our children… to want something more. But the question then becomes, how do we teach our kids something we acknowledge we haven’t even achieved ourselves? We don’t. Or perhaps I should say, we can’t. And therein lies our inherent problem. As parents, we assume 100% of the pressure and responsibility for crafting our kids into the next Mother Theresa when in actuality, it has very little to do with us… at least not in the way you may have previously thought. For some reason, when you tell a child outright what they ‘ought’ to do, either they don’t ‘hear’ you or they do the complete opposite. But if you can point them down the right road, set up appropriate guardrails, and position the appropriate tools at the appropriate checkpoints along the way, they are much more likely to willingly walk the path you’ve helped to lay out before them. The key is to help them discover their God-given path.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. -Proverbs 22:6
We must admit and surrender our own self-reliance. We must turn our children’s well-being over to the original parent, our Heavenly Father. We must heed His Word and seek the truth within it. As a parent, there can be nothing more important than embracing these simple statements. But if I had to flesh out the most important lessons I pray I teach my kids, I’d have to share the following list.
The 5 Most Important Lessons I’ve Taught My Kids from the Bible
- Love God – Mark 12:30
- Put others before yourself – Mark 12:31
- Tell the truth – John 8:32
- Do the right thing – Deuteronomy 6:18
- Seek Wisdom – Proverbs 4:5
Of course, nothing compares to the Bible when it comes to raising our kids, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other great resources that we can also use to assist us in communicating these issues. I’m thankful for the classic characters of Mercer Mayer that I grew up with and can now share with my own children. Thanks to the launch of Inspired Kids, a new line of faith-based books featuring Mayer’s beloved Little Critter, our kids can be entertained while learning the importance of letting others go first, doing the right thing, and telling the truth.
What important lessons do you pray to instill in your own kids?