1. You have a responsibility to grow: Whether you are a teacher, a pastor, a blogger, a family friend or a parent this is the primary message that you need to be giving the kids around you. Being saved is not an ending or a destination, it is a beginning. We who are in the position to do so need to be stressing how important it is that people start young in learning to love God’s Word and spending time each day alone with Him. We must encourage growth and we need to be consistent with our message and in helping those coming up after us in developing discipline and spiritual wisdom.
We love our kids, we provide for them and care for them the best that we know how. And we assume that because biological growth comes naturally that spiritual growth will also. This is not the case (far from it) and we would do well to spend as much time encouraging spiritual growth in our kids as we do caring for their earthly needs. If we don’t do this then we are doing a disservice to our children and we are going to be called into judgement over it one day as we stand before the Lord. Our responsibility is a serious one and it’s time we started making it a priority.
2. Be humble: Humility is not often modeled in our society, especially by the athletes and stars that our kids view as role models. The Bible says “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) Not only do we need to teach our kids what the Bible says about humility, we need to model it in our own lives and in our interactions with others. We stress personal accomplishments, team sports, high grades and the uniqueness of the individual but what if we spent just as much time stressing meekness and humility as character traits in our kids? What kind of change would that make in the world of tomorrow?
3. Find and develop your gifts: We are in a unique position to see our kids grow and to get to know the people that God is making them to be. We should be helping them identify their gifts and talents and then encouraging them to use them for the Lord. If we teach our kids to love to serve the Lord with gladness while using their gifts and abilities then we will leave a legacy of workers who are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and understand the importance of a unified body of Christ working together. God richly blesses those who joyfully serve him and the sooner our kids discover this the richer and fuller that their lives will be.
4. Life is not about having fun: Despite what the world tells us and the constant bombardment on television for toys and games that appeal to our kids, we were not put on this planet simply to play and have fun. For many of us, this is a tough message but the sooner we learn it, the better off we will be. We need to instill a strong work ethic in our kids and students and teach them how to study and be wise with their time and talents. With the advent of smart phones and the rise of the technology age our kids have more distractions and more games to play than any generation that came before them. Unless we teach them the value and the pleasure of working hard then we are robbing them of their full potential.
5. Pray without ceasing: Prayer for the Christian should be as natural as breathing. This takes time to develop and is not something that will occur without training, instruction and more importantly, example. The best way to teach a strong prayer life is to have and live a strong prayer life. Yes, we need to pray in our prayer closets and in our quiet times but if we are in a position to teach and instruct young people then we also need to pray boldly and unashamedly in front of them. We need to tell them to be honest before God and to take everything to Him. A Christian with a strong prayer life is a Christian that is experiencing a vital life of faith and that is something that we all need.
My people are destroyed (perish) for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) We teach and instruct because if we don’t our students become easy prey for the evil one and are prone to all kinds of heartache and error. We teach and instruct to keep our kids close to the Lord and to provide them with the tools they need to grow and flourish as men and women of faith. It is our responsibility and we must take it seriously if we are to raise the next generation up to be strong for the Lord.