Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Do I Help My Child Live a Spirit Directed Life?

One of the most common questions from parents who are Christ-followers is about helping their child learn to know and follow Christ.  This question fits in well with our discussion on the Holy Spirit, but first let us go back to the basic problem we all have – sin. 

A basic definition of sin is “rebellion against God and disobedience to His laws and ways.”  The Bible is clear that sin brings about the punishment and result of death (Romans 6:23; James 1:14-15). And since we are all sinners, then at some point we all are dead.  We deserve the punishment of everlasting death, and we are incapable by ourselves to love God and obey Him.  This is the state that we are all born into, including your child.

But the Holy Spirit gives new life to those who have faith in Christ (Isaiah 44:3-4; John 3:5).  “Just as water brings life to plants and trees that are made to drink of that water, so the Spirit brings spiritual life to those who are made to drink of that Spirit.” (“Big Truths for Young Hearts,” p. 159-160). 

But hear is the kicker: the Spirit gives life, but we are powerless to love God if we don’t have the Spirit.  Therefore, how do we get the Spirit to work in our lives in the first place?  The answer: we can’t control Him. 
“The only thing we can rightly do, and the one thing we should do, is this: we should bow our heads and admit before God that we are helpless to save ourselves.  We are unable to make ourselves come alive. . . .  We should put our hope in the kindness of God, his mercy towards sinners, and his power to save those who admit they cannot save themselves. . . .  His Spirit must give us life. He alone is our hope!”

So with regards to our children, the best we can do is lead them to know God’s laws and ways (by what we teach them and what we model for them), and to earnestly cry out to God to have mercy on them, so that He would work in their hearts to help them know Him. 

Questions or comments?

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