I think every Christian parent wants to raise godly kids. We all want our children to grow up loving Jesus and embracing faith in Christ for their whole life.
So suppose we were to meet for coffee….(I’d order a Latte Macchiato)…and I asked you:
What factors matter most if you want to raise Godly kids?
In other words, if you wanted to raise your child so they would walk in faith their entire adult lives, what daily/weekly practices would you say would make the biggest difference in their future spiritual health?
Does regular church attendance make a difference?
Does witnessing regularly make a difference?
Does pointing out biblical principles in everyday life make a difference?
LifeWay Research just released a fascinating study called “Best Predictors of spiritual health among young adults”
And wow…. it absolutely blew me away.
How to Raise Godly Kids – the data:
Here’s the chart.
Far and away the top 4 practices in order are:
- Child regularly read the Bible while growing up
- Child regularly spent time in prayer while growing up
- Child regularly served in church while growing up
- Child listened primarily to Christian music
When I look at the #1 result, even the first two results, I catch myself saying…”that’s so basic!!!” I guess I wanted the best predictors of spiritual health to be things that seemed, “harder”?
But doesn’t this data also ring true for all of us? Don’t we believe at the deepest levels that the VERY best way to raise Godly kids (whether they are actually ours, or “ours” for just a few hours on Sunday) is to point them to Scripture? The Scriptures have TREMENDOUS power, “all” we have to do is guide kids toward them!
Hebrews 4:12 reminds us:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The word of God is ACTIVE…alive…living…breathing…able to direct a young child’s heart toward Jesus and so set the course of His faith for LIFE!
As a parent I am recommitting myself to not just having Nolan memorize his verses for church or singing Christian songs, but even now, as he is just beginning to learn how to read, to dig into the Bible.
It comes down to priorities. We all get 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week. We don’t get a second more. So our time is limited, we cannot increase the amount of time we have been given. So what is the best use of our limited time? How can we set up our kids for spiritual success, as much as is humanly possible with the time we have been given?
It starts with Scripture, and prayer.
Not OUR Scripture reading and OUR prayer.
THEIR READING…and THEIR PRAYING.
Reading for Raising Godly Kids
So if reading the Bible is the the #1 factor for raising godly kids, than where should they start?
First of all, I recommend NOT starting at the beginning. The whole Bible points to Jesus, so it makes sense to start with Him, right?!! The entire Old Testament is effectively a drumroll to his arrival. If you start at the beginning you’ll hear the drumroll but it will be hard to understand what all the excitement is about without any context.
Look at the Old Testament as an amazing backstory on the life of Jesus. While it is incredibly interesting and useful, a backstory is MUCH more riveting if it comes AFTER you know a lot about the main character.
Don’t start with the backstory.
Instead start with:
The book of John is an account of Jesus life while He was on earth. It explains why Jesus came in the first place, it records many of his important teachings, and it details some of the most amazing miracles you’ll ever read about.
Trusting Jesus begins with appreciating His awesome power, His love, and His enduring faithfulness. John, “the disciple that Jesus loved”, understood what all of this felt like.
What a great book of the Bible to introduce the main character of our faith, Jesus.
and then move to….
Genesis (Story of Joseph)
I’m still not recommending you go back to Genesis 1.
But do flip back in your Bible to the last part of Genesis to read the story of Joseph.
Stories are powerful vehicles for truth and the story of Joseph is one of the best. Additionally the story of Joseph doesn’t have a lot of “complications” to it, because you don’t have to explain some of the Old Testament “gore” while reading the latter part of Genesis. (Good luck if you begin a child’s Bible reading in the book of Judges!)
Joseph’s life is a shining example of what it means to trust God in every circumstance of life. After a kid understands who Jesus is, from the book of John, point them to this incredible story near the front of your Bible.
Recommit yourself, as I am, to training up your child in righteousness by helping them read the God-breathed words of Scripture, and to pray to their Heavenly Father.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.Share this post: