All souls belong to God. Each one is precious. When he entrusts souls to us by giving us children, God expects us to lead them spiritually. He expects us to point those children toward God. He has warned us sternly about causingany child to turn his/her back on God and be lost. So,with such a powerful responsibility before us as parents, how shall we lead our children?
To lead our children takes time. We must be involved in the lives of our children to the extent that we are spending time with them regularly and in a variety of circumstances. Time spent when we sit in the house and walk by the way and lie down and rise up increases our influence.
We cannot lead our children if we are not spending time with them. To lead our children takes talking. God challenges parents to teach and instruct their children in his ways. We teach most effectively if we have a talking relationship with our kids so that in the normal course of life we impart divine values, divine history, divine commands, and divine expectations to our children. Positive godly talking in the context of an ongoing relationship is powerful.
To lead our children we must listen to them. What are their questions, their worries, their fears, their concerns, their interests, their desires, and their misunderstandings? Listening takes great attention. It takes the building of a same relational environment. Are you listening to your children?
To lead our children takes forgiving and being forgiven. No trust relationship can exist without mutual forgiveness and the building of mutual trust. When children make mistakes we must be ready to forgive and show them how they can move on from mistakes toward a brighter future. When we admit our own wrongs we build trust and credibility with our children. This is spiritual leadership. Children must know that we are sincerely trying to do what is right if they are to accept our spiritual leadership as sincere.
It takes love in deed and truth to lead our children. This kind of love is not just talking love. It is doing love. It is constantly being there, constantly helping, constantly encouraging them in everything good, and constantly correcting where needed. It is the “laying down one’s life” kind of love that is required to lead one’s children. Do you love your children enough to lead them spiritually?
We cannot determine what our children will do. We cannot make them be faithful to God. But each of us will give an account to God as to whether we have sincerely tried to lead our children spiritually.