Children in their formative years are dependent on their parents in almost every way possible. Our kids look to parents to feed them, to shelter them, to clothe them, sometimes even to protect them when necessary. More importantly, our children are dependent on parents to help them spiritually.
Proverbs 22:6 teaches us to "train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." In what areas do we have to train our children? Here are seven values that every Christian parent should teach his or her children.
It's often a child's default to place their faith in their mothers and fathers, and as good as it is for kids to learn how to trust their parents that faith and trust for earthly parents should never go beyond their trust for their Heavenly Father. Parents can teach their kids how to put their faith in God by always reminding them that every provision and blessing comes from God, whether they're asking for a certain toy or receiving their day's meals.
As the old saying goes, "a family that prays together stays together." It's extremely important that kids are always given an example to follow in leading a life of prayer and devotion. Practices as simple as regularly praying before meals, and taking some time in the evening to pray for each other go a long way in building the value of prayer in children.
As important as it is to teach justice and discipline to our children, we must also constantly portray and explain compassion to kids and regularly practicing visible compassion. Taking time to get your children involved in compassion projects such as feeding programs and ministry amongst the urban poor can be great ways to build a value of compassion that we must have for those in need.
Hunger for God's Word
Beyond the earthly wisdom that parents can provide their kids, there must always be the wisdom that comes from the Word of God. The great news is that the Bible is so full of knowledge that children can learn and apply to almost every area of their life. However, what use is it for parents to teach kids how to read their Bible when they themselves are not in love with God's Word. Teaching the Bible to kids is an outflow practice, meaning we can't teach our kids what we ourselves have not yet consumed.
When parents and guardians teach our kids integrity, they don't have to worry about what their children do behind closed doors. The best ways to teach integrity is to always remind them that even if people don't see their deeds and misdeeds, God does and what they do in private heavily affects what they do in public.
Psychology Today states that pride is something that reflects as early as early childhood. Pride isn't all that bad. It helps build confidence in children, but just like anything else in this world too much of it can be detrimental. Parents teach their children humility best by explaining how our confidence comes from God and not ourselves.
No one wants unsuccessful children. Competence is one of the most important keys to future success for our children. The best way to teach children competence is to encourage them to pursue a craft or art that they can become good at. Don't limit their options, but rather allow them to explore.