Growth charts and tests help assess a child’s physical and mental progress.
But growth occurs in other areas, too.
The Bible tells us Jesus grew physically and in wisdom, and also in favor with God and with other people (Luke 2:52). Jesus grew in these ways as He took on human flesh—the same ways we develop and grow.
Concern for children’s physical growth is good, but their spiritual progress is critical, too. They need to learn early on to cultivate love, joy, patience, kindness, and other virtues. They must learn to apply God’s Word. Most important of all, they need to make an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ a priority.
The Christian life is not a single event; it’s a journey. We are not called to rack up other people’s decisions for Christ like notches on a belt, then walk away.
New Christians, especially children, need to be nurtured and discipled in their faith. The bonus blessing is that as they grow “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” they will be able to encourage others in their walk with Christ.
How can we disciple them? Consider including the following practices:
- Teach them how to pray. Use an acronym such as ACTS to help them remember that prayer is more than just asking God for things.
A = adoration and praise
C = confession of sin
T = thanksgiving for God’s blessings
S = supplication or requests
- Teach them to set aside daily time to read the Bible. There are some terrific age-appropriate devotionals for children that will help them cultivate this practice.
- Encourage them to value their time at church, laying a foundation for the appreciation of Christian fellowship.
If we are truly concerned about the spiritual growth of the children in our life, it’s important for us to take time to disciple them…for their ultimate good and God’s eternal glory!