When Tammy and I got married over 26 years ago, we looked forward to raising children who love Jesus. By the grace of God, we have witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit leading our two daughters and two sons to love, trust, and follow Jesus. The oldest is 24 and the youngest is 19, and each one of them has a personal relationship with the Lord.
I suspect that most Christian parents would have a few suggestions for anyone just beginning the journey of parenthood. After all, every Christian parent has a variety of life lessons from which to glean rich insights. Whenever parents walk “in the Spirit,” (Gal. 5:16) it benefits the family. And whenever parents walk “in the flesh,” (Gal. 5:13) it hurts the family.
Thankfully, the grace of God makes up much ground for believers when we fall short of the mark. Truly God is “rich in mercy” because of “the great love He has for us.” (Eph. 2:4)
With that in mind, here are five parenting habits that have worked well in our home over the years:
1. Pray over each child from the day he or she enters your family.
It has been a tremendous joy to pray the “Aaronic Blessing” over each of our children thousands of times from the day they were born. I would lay my hand on their head and pray: “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.”
The Holy Spirit flows powerfully whenever believers offer up faith-filled prayers for their children. And young hearts are profoundly influenced by the love of God and the loving prayers of their parents.
2. Seize teachable moments every day as you bring the love of Jesus into the discussion.
When our children were between the ages of 2 and 5, they often heard about God’s love for them. During these formative years they began to know Jesus as both their friend, as well as their Savior who died on the cross for their sins. In this way, Christianity became the foundation of their entire life, rather than just “a set of doctrines to believe,” or “an activity we do on Sunday” because dad is the pastor.
Rules without relationships lead to rebellion. This is true not only in the home, but also in a person’s relationship with God. And the close relationship you develop with the Lord and with your children pays rich dividends as family members are then empowered to love one another with Christ’s love.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.