I have a wonderful great-nephew named Grayson. He is a beautiful boy with blond hair and blue eyes and a sweet, loving, and gentle spirit. I regularly pray for Grayson’s spiritual growth, and I will pray for him until the day I die. I will pray for each stage of his spiritual growth as he becomes a man who worships our Lord and Savior.
I believe that every stage of a child’s physical growth should also reflect a new stage of spiritual growth. My desire is for children to learn to say, ”I love mommy, daddy, and Jesus!” all in the same sentence and expressing equal love for their parents and Creator! My series of books, Adventures of the Sea Kids, aims to encourage children to develop this strong relationship with Jesus.
Here are several suggestions to help in this process:
Infancy – 3 years:
Play, read, sing, and talk with your children about the Lord. Introduce them to the name, “Jesus,” repeatedly and show them how much you love Him. Engage in family traditions and holiday rituals that exhibit the importance of the Savior. Participate in parent groups that honor our Lord. Show your children pictures of their dedication or baptism and explain the significance of what was happening and why they were baptized.
3 – 8 years:
Many parents place their children in preschool at this age. If you are able to pay tuition for a private school, try to find a godly environment that will help foster belief in the Lord. At home, continue to engage your child in biblical activities while playing, reading, singing, and most importantly, attending church. Teach your children the importance of going to church and being actively involved as a family within the church. Being involved at church will also allow you to find like-minded parents and good playmates for your children.
8 – older: At this stage in life, children see themselves as individuals who can think, act, and make decisions without necessarily having to rely on their mom or dad. Their autonomy is important to them. However, deep inside they still want and need boundaries to be set by you as their parent. This gives them the assurance that they are safe and protected. By now, they should understand that they need to have a personal relationship with Jesus. The best way to promote this relationship is for you as their parent to exhibit your own intimate relationship with Christ daily.
Finally, always remember to pray for your children whatever stage of life in which they find themselves. I pray for my adult children every day. I will continue to pray for them, my nephew, Grayson, and all the children in my family every day! It’s the least—and the most—I can do for them.