Helping your Child Learn to Walk with God

When we ask parents what kind of adult they want their child to grow up to be, many say they want to see their child become a person of strong character with integrity, honesty, compassion and kindness.  But how do parents who are Christ followers help their child learn to walk with God?

Growing up, my (Jack) dad was a Christ follower who wanted my sister and me to grow up ‘going to church.’  However, Dad really didn’t lead by example.  He went to work on Sunday mornings while my Mom took us to church.  My dad was a great role model for me in many areas but I missed his spiritual leadership.

When Monica and I started our family, we wanted to be spiritual leaders for our children and help them learn to walk with God.  We stumbled many times but we found the best way for us to lead our children was to focus first on our own spiritual journey.  We also prayed with and for our children, showed them the value of a church community and helped them learn about God so they could eventually know God.

We’ll share more personal examples in future posts but I want to share a great example that happened recently at Stonecreek Church.  Some good friends of ours had the joy of celebrating  a major spiritual milestone when their children were baptized, publicly declaring themselves Christ followers.

john and ryan(1)

John & Ryan. Used with permission.

Some observers may have been surprised to learn that three of the children were baptized by their own fathers.  However, those who know John and Christy and Jeff and Susan, know them to be Christ followers who care deeply about their children’s heart.  Jeff baptized his daughters Maddox and Alex. John baptized his son, Ryan (pictured here) and experienced one of the greatest joys a father can experience in the life of his children.

If you are a dad and a Christ follower, I encourage you and your spouse to take a farsighted view of your children’s spiritual life:  focus first on your own journey, help your children learn to walk with God and baptize your own child, if you have the opportunity.
In my dad’s later years, the discovery of cancer and his own mortality helped him refocus on his heart and God.  In those last months, God gave us time to share a spiritual journey that we both missed earlier.  Dad taught me a lot and I realized that its never to late for a parent and child to connect on matters of the heart.
Question:  How do you take a farsighted view of spiritual leadership in the life of your child?  Please share your comments here.