Take Their Temperature
It’s 2am. Your son or daughter comes into your room complaining of stomach pains. You check their temperature: 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Not more than five minutes later, they are throwing up. You are now in for a long night.
Kids get sick. Every parent will walk with their child through an ailment. I pray each day for the health of my two boys and that God will protect them from sickness. But ultimately, I know it’s going to happen, and when it does I need to understand the warning signs. I ask questions, I take their temperature, and based on the symptoms I either take them to the doctor or I prescribe a treatment plan. If all goes well, they are back on their feet a few days. However, I must also be prepared that their recovery might take longer.
When it comes to my child’s physical health, I am on it! But God also commands us as parents to be even more intentional about their spiritual health. We get this command from Deuteronomy 6:4-9:
Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. The commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Parents, we need to be encouraged by this passage. What a privilege it is to join into the work of Holy Spirit and raise our kids to love Jesus with their whole hearts. At this moment you may be thinking, “I’m not sure how I am doing with that.” No matter where we feel we are at, God is for us! And, if we continue to seek his will, strength, and wisdom, we will be equipped to lead. So where do we start? Here are three ways to be intentional about our children’s spiritual health:
Pray for Wisdom
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
Every parent wants to do the right thing for his or her children. But we need help. God is our perfect source for wisdom. We should be on our knees each day confessing, praising, and asking for help.
Take their Temperature
“The commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.” Deuteronomy 6:6
We take the temperature of our kids when they are showing signs or communicating that they are sick. However, we can’t always tell when our children are struggling with their faith or when their hearts are troubled. Perhaps they are afraid or ashamed to share where they are at. As parents we need to be proactive about asking our children a simple question: “How is your walk with Jesus going?”
Be part of the Prescription
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:7-9
I’m always amazed that God has allowed me to join in the work he is doing with my kids. I encourage both my boys to pray and read God’s word. I know it’s a very different experience for both of them because one is twelve and the other is seven. But I believe that God is speaking to each of them in a unique way that shapes their faith. As I join into the work, I want to find specific times in the day to have spiritual conversations that lead to good questions and spur growth. If that is at the dinner table, during a bedtime tuck-in, driving in the car, or at a special lunch, I don’t want to miss an opportunity God has given me.
No matter where you are at in leading your kids in their spiritual growth, I want you to know that God is for you and he will equip you for the journey. Along the way we will witness times of incredible health and times of weakness, but every moment is an opportunity to be a part of the prescription. May the Lord richly bless you and your family.
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