What Does Your Child See?

Mike Mazzalongo

There is nothing more joyful than watching our children "grow" in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord. This thought leads me to wonder if children receive the same joy and encouragement from seeing their parents "grow".

I believe that much of the development we seek in them may be directly related to how much growth they see in us. When it comes to spiritual growth, you can't just teach it, you've got to show it. In the area of personal spiritual growth here are a few ideas to help parents model what they would like to see grow in their children:

1. Let Them See Your Repentance

There is nothing more encouraging than seeing your parents struggle with and conquer sin in their own lives. "Perfect" parents create discouragement in children but parents who are open and honest with their own failures provide the security necessary to help them face and deal with their own problems.

2. Make Changes Relevant to Their Experience

Sometimes parents change their lives and goals in ways that only affect parents. Children need to see parents making changes that have as their sole purpose the impacting of the entire family's life. This teaches them about self-denial and true Christian love.

3. Share Your Victories

Parents complain a lot (that's what kids say). But parents rarely gather the family to celebrate the spiritual victories in their personal, family, or work lives. Including our children in praise and victories allows them to learn the very important lesson of gratitude.

Many times the growth that we so anxiously anticipate in them will only come when they see the very same growth in ourselves.

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