Raising 21st Century Child in a Godly way, what to avoid and what you must do (Part II).
Last time, we reviewed some of the challenges of today’s parenting and some of the wrong assumptions we make. Can someone highlight any key issues raised that made a significant impact on you?
*Raising the education of our children above their relationship with the creator (spiritual life). We should ensure their spirituality is a priority.
*Thinking they are too young to decide for God. The place of discipline should not be neglected.
Now, let’s look at Key things to do to raise Godly Children.
1. Always start early. Don’t ever think the child needs to be 5 years old before he begins to know God. The devil starts early with Children, he understands what he needs is to gain access to their minds. We shouldn’t think they are little and cannot follow God. Read the Bible to them very early, discuss spiritual things with them, and take them along for spiritual meetings; when you are praying, they should not be watching cartoons, let them know spiritual things are sacred. Take them seriously from their early days, don’t wait until they become a teen and you cannot handle them, you will then be looking for a campus fellowship that will help you amend the work you ought to have done.
Let them have their personal Bible early, let their first reading material in life be the Bible, and let them do all spiritual exercises along with you early, you will be shocked at how much it will shape their formation. We neglect them, giving a damnable opportunity for the world to form them, and then after the world has completed their full formation, we start running helter-skelter to see how to amend what has been done.
Please don’t ever say they are young, If the devil could make witches from a 5-year-old girl, why can’t God make evangelists out of our 5-year-old too? The kingdom of hell doesn’t believe they are young, only believers believe they are young. Even in Church all we do is play them some cartoon and that’s all. The devil plays us some gimmicks and we fall into it, he tells us they are young and we leave them while he begins to do his work on their life. By the time he tells us they are old, they have outgrown our directive, and many times, we lose them to the kingdom of darkness.
2. Another key thing we must do is to ensure we provide spiritual and intellectual material for them to play with, not just cartoons and Captain America. Several of these cartoons teach violence and are not good for character formation. You need to ensure the children are provided with good channels. They don’t have to be only spiritual but they should be spiritual and intellectually engaged with morals.
Some Spiritual sites for children are:
-Bible Adventure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPN9-bRbUO0
-Mount Zion Cartoon: https://app.viloud.tv/watch/channel/cd905ed2b6ec012f3cee38a7d27f4efd.
For Educational Development
A. Dr. Binos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJVqrf7X75g
C. Cocomelon for 2 years: Intellectually engaging for small kids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wlrvO4QvyIQ.
3. We need to be also mindful of what they are exposed to at their playgroup and school and even in our neighbor’s houses where they go to play.
Question: How about parents that are not financially buoyant, how will they go about getting books and materials online for them? What other ways can they follow to ensure their children’s spiritual growth?
Answer: If any parent cannot afford these, it might mean their children also do not have the opportunity to be lured by technology. But to be frank, parents like these are very scarce in our generation. Most parents give their phones to their children to keep them from crying. If you don’t have access to smartphones, then use other methods such as engaging them through discussion. But you will agree with me that almost 80% of parents provide media for their children these days and that remains one avenue the devil uses.
4. Another key thing to do is that, as good as the point above may be, you need to reduce the screen time of children. Too much screen time reduces their ability to think, they should learn to use toys to play, do crafts, discuss, walk with them, and play along with them. Don’t give phones to children all the time, allow them to develop with what is in their surroundings. Many times we want to just give them something while we are busy, while these may be good the danger is much, let them be more engaged.
5. Have Bible Studies and devotions with them and allow them to lead, contribute, and share their opinions, you will be shocked at their insight on Biblical issues. Many times as parents, we think of ourselves as the best Bible Teachers thinking those children don’t know anything, but when you begin engagement you will see that they know much. Please allow them to speak up and speak freely, don’t shout them down even if they ask erroneous questions, That is an opportunity to provide the truth to them and make them more comfortable to share at another time. Once our children cannot bring issues to us then we are losing them, always be available. Don’t ever underestimate their spiritual intelligence, let them pray, read the bible, lead devotions, and ask questions. Unfortunately in most of our churches, we neglect their questions and attend to the adults. This is a wrong priority, their questions deserve the highest level of response and we must make them comfortable to ask questions in the congregation of God’s people. They are just forming opinions and opinions must be based on conviction and conviction must be based on truth and truth must be based on knowledge.
I can say I have heard some of the most controversial questions from my children, but I am always excited to respond and many times they provide answers themselves. Also, I have received great apologetic responses from them. They just need to be exposed to the light of the word and Christ will continue to illuminate their heart with spiritual insight. They can easily link scriptures together.
6. Buy them Spiritual Materials: Does your child have a Bible and jotter for writing in Church? Why should you buy all textbooks and notebooks for them to go to school but never buy any spiritual material for them? Buy them their Bible as early as 2-3 years of age, even when they cannot read. Buy them a jotter where they can write spiritual insights. Raising a godly seed is not by chance, you need to be intentional. Don’t develop a child that only has an interest in clothes and not books and spiritual materials.
Your Child does not have to go to Church with the best Shoe or clothes, but let them have the highest spiritual and intellectual development, all those clothes will fade but the development will be eternal. You don’t need to buy all the “Aso Ebi”, rather, invest in your Children. Many of the parents that would be complaining about not having money to get books or Bible for their Children do not miss any party clothes.
7. Beyond the Stories of the Bible, Let them have experiential evidence of God. When they are sick, teach them to pray and lay hands and speak the word of faith, and when God heals them let them know, let them begin to pray for God’s presence in their lives. When they have need, ask them to pray and let them be expectant of the miracle that God would do. They may even forget the teaching but they won’t forget the experiences. Let them begin to exercise faith, to pray with conviction, to pray down the presence of God, and let them begin to walk in the Supernatural. The Supernatural experience seals their conviction of God read from the Bible.
8. Censor the events they attend. Your children do not need to attend a neighbor’s birthday where they are singing and dancing to worldly songs. I don’t do that. I discuss with my Kids the reason why they cannot go. I tell them that bad songs are being sung at the parties. They know we don’t listen, so we go to those places later in the evening to greet them and give them gifts but if it is those we know are good, we allow them. Also, the friends your children keep in school and at home are key as they can influence them.