SEVEN-POINT CHECKLIST TO HAVE FANTASTIC CHILDREN
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
1 – Praying – While this is an expected answer, it is at the top of the list because God is the only person who can change anyone (2 Timothy 2:24-25). If you want your child to change, you must plead with the Lord to change him.
If your child does transform, God did it. If he does not, the Lord has not (at this point) granted repentance. There is a mystery here that you must fully engage. On your best day, all you can do is water and plant. God is the one who brings growth in a person’s life.
2 – Being – Your life must always be imitating God. Your child needs to see the authentic Christlike life. You are “Exhibit A” to that life.
The best role you can play in your child’s life is to give him an authentic life that includes your mistakes. It’s your mistakes that may be the most informative way to teach the Christ-life. After you fail, you have an incredible opportunity to model how to respond to failure.
3 – Relating – The next best gift you can give your child is an authentic relationship with another person. If you’re married, it’s your spouse. You have two decades to present to your child how to live the Christ-life with fallen individuals.
Think of your marriage like a TV reality show that your children get to watch every day. What a spectacular opportunity. Your kids will be relating with fallen people all their lives, and you get to show them how to do it.
4 – Repenting – Failing is a daily occurrence. Failure is not the end of the world but the beginning of something amazing. God has given you the world’s greatest secret weapon: the power to change.
Your mistakes are opportunities to transform so you don’t keep doing what you have been doing. The added benefit to personal transformation is you can teach your children how to change.
5 – Loving – Secure children are the by-product of loving parents. Insecure children are the by-product of fussy parents. Fussy parents will push their kids to find “security” in the culture.
Their “depravity” will grow if you complicate their fallenness by yours. Your imitation of Christ will close the gap that separates your child from Christ.
6 – Exporting – Christianity is an exportable religion. You are in the import/export business. Your response to what God is pouring into your life is to pour it into your children. Living the gospel is not a passive exercise.
Everything said thus far are the things you should be pouring into your children: praying, being, relating, repenting, and loving.
7 – Releasing – Your job is not to save your kids; God does the saving. Your job is not to complicate what God can do. Be assured, God can regenerate any child in spite of the parents, but erecting hurdles don’t have to happen.
You want to cooperate with the Lord as you release your kids into the world as men and women who know how to submit to God while fulfilling the capacities and gifting that God has given to them.