Raising Kids who stand up for what’s right, no matter what their age, is a directive from God.
Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
This is a great verse used by many to inspire young people to to speak out, be leaders, and stand up for what’s right.
I’m sure you truly want your kids to be courageous in their youth. But saying this to our kids is one thing; raising them to really believe it is another.
Chew on these thoughts as you teach your kids what it means to be an example to others, no matter what their age.
Value Their Opinions
They may sound ridiculous or immature, but laughing off their honest feelings will not encourage them to express their thoughts. Listen fully, respond thoughtfully.
Get Out of the Way
You may be tempted to jump in, rescue, interpret or otherwise insert yourself into your child’s conversations and challenges. Instead of re-phrasing what your child says to words that you think sound better, ask a question that might help him clarify. Instead of stepping forth to fight every battle for him, whether it’s in sports or school or in the neighborhood, let him have a crack at it first. Not only will he learn to stand up for himself, he will learn to express himself and get practice at problem resolution.
When your child takes a risk by stepping out of his comfort zone, his courage muscles are strengthened. He won’t always experience wonderful success, but if you help him evaluate what went wrong and how he could do better next time, he will grow from it. Success from failure is such a confidence booster! And confidence will give your child courage to stand up for what’s right, even in his youth.
Give Him Tools to Evaluate
In order to be an example in what he says, how he lives, in his love, faith and purity, your child has got to know how to live that example. It is your job to give him the tools:
- teach him what God says in the Bible about living a life that pleases Him
- expose him to other, older Christians who can affirm your own guidance
- show him what it the examples look like in the life of an adult: yours!
Sometimes, God Speaks
I truly believe that I have heard the voice of God through my kids on numerous occasions. But as parents, we tend to ignore or not fully digest wisdom from our offspring. Maybe because we feel we should have the answers, not them.
God meant it when he said that your kids can be powerful influencers in their world. Stand behind them as they step up to the plate!
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Not to mention wondering if you are doing the right things to help your children grow up to love and honor God?
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