One of the things I took out of marriage counseling that has stuck with me over the years is this statement “The greatest need of your child is salvation, not education”.
As a strong advocate of good education for all, this statement hits deep because it tells me that the effort I put towards ensuring my child becomes a child of God should be greater than the effort I put towards ensuring I give my child the best education possible.
A godly child is not the same as a well behaved child.Pastor Mildred Okonkwo
We put a lot of effort towards ensuring our children are well behaved, especially in public. We want them to politely greet others. We want them to be respectful, kind, considerate etc.
However, what would it profit us if our child is all of these things but ends up in hell? As a believer, what would it profit you if your child is the best in his or her class, but looks you in the eye one day and tell you there is no God?
I do not write from a place of authority, not on this subject. I do not yet have the proofs to show, as my kids are still very young. But I am beginning to actively acquire the knowledge that I require to raise righteous kids, not just morally sound kids. I am actively acquiring and intentionally practicing the parenting principles to raise godly kids, not just good kids.
My greatest parenting desire is to raise my girls to love the Lord!
To raise kingdom giants, it is clear that you cannot simply go with the flow or parent by trial and error. Over and again, you must choose intentionally and choose differently for your kids.
These babies don’t come into the world with a manual, but we all have a life manual – The Bible, that teaches how to live and how to raise our kids. There are also countless books written by people with proofs on the subject. How many have you read?
Here’s one thing I know, it’s never too late or too early to start.
If you’re single, now is the best time to read books on parenting. When I was single I read a lot of books on marriage but none on parenting, I felt “it’s still far now”. I was wrong. Don’t be wrong. Read now and have a journal to jot down what you will practice based on the knowledge you acquire.
If you’re married and trusting God for your babies. My dear, they are here already, in nine months time, you will testify in Jesus name. So don’t waste a moment, your kids are here. Read books, pray for them daily calling them by name and keep declaring God’s word over your fruitfulness. Deuteronomy 7:14 gave me my first child, it can give you yours too.
If you’re already a parent, especially if your kids are still under the age of five, you already know that time is a priceless privilege. Make the most of your alone moments. Turn your goals into daily habits. I started small and started simple.
Here are 5 simple things I do daily to help my girls know and grow to love the Lord:
- My baby’s lullaby and comfort song is a scriptural song I composed. Every time I sing it, it reminds me and tells them who they are. Children don’t forget songs. Songs are a great way to teach. Even if your kids are too old for lullabies, listening to worship together as a family is still a great way to inspire them to love the Lord.
- Bedtime is a great time to pray. If you have to start the day in a rush, because of school, you don’t have to end it in a rush. So at bedtime, we sing and we pray together before we sleep. And cartoons end at least thirty minutes, preferably one hour, before bedtime.
- Family devotions are great, spiritually refreshing for everyone. I’d be honest, we are still learning to be consistent, because zion messes with our sleep, but we are getting there. If you haven’t started, start now. Keep it short and simple for the kids. We simply adopted Isaac Oyedepo’s template. You’d find it in his message here. Watch it below! I assure you, it’d be the best 90 minutes you’d invest into your children’s lives this week. (I know you’re a super busy parent, if you can’t spare 90 minutes now, set an alarm for when you can this week).
- I pray scriptures over them. Got that from reading a book of course – “praying scriptures over your children” (image below). I Wrote out the scriptures God gave me concerning my kids during my personal prayer times and pasted them right beside my toilet seat, lol. That’s the only place I get a little quiet these days so I use that time to pray. Still working on framing it and making it look decorative, but for now, paper and tape is doing the job. Functional before decorative.
- I prioritize my personal devotion. You cannot give what you don’t have. Try to be up a little earlier than everyone or to stay up a little earlier than everyone. Draw your strength from God. Draw inspiration on how to be a better parent from God. Develop your relationship with God so that you don’t end up handing your children religion. It won’t be easy with young and utterly dependent kids, but when you’ve cultivated the habit, you wouldn’t want to miss a single day, I assure you.
I hope these few tips helps you. If you have something to add, please share in the comments. I’d love to learn from you. Like they say “it takes a village”, but I believe it begins with you.