Raising a child in this day and age is by no means easy, with so many things in place to distract, influence and in some cases blatantly mislead - that as a parent/guardian you sometimes feel powerless to change.
The internet being a major factor that children of this generation are exposed to and is a stark difference to back in the day (and this is coming from a 1989 baby so I'm not too old lol). They are consuming information beyond their years and are able to do and say things that sometimes leave us in shock or awe. Which I can testify to as godparent to an 8yr old who is going on 18. Nevertheless, even with all of this technology and influence we cannot forget what God instructs us to do in His word:
‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it’
Again, I don’t believe this to be an easy thing, as adults that are still learning everyday and making mistakes along our own path of salvation. But irrespective of this, I still stress the extreme importance of being intentional with steering your children up the right path.
So here are four ways to encourage your child in the Lord and ensure His word is alive and active in their lives.
1. Teach them to pray. Be it before they go to sleep, when they wake up or even to say grace before they eat. This act is to show them how to communicate with God but also the importance of it, as God loves to hear from us.
2. Find fun ways to share the word with them. It could be through bible study at home or making up small games for them to interact with the word of God. As a believer understanding the power of His word, introducing them to this in small ways will help to equip them.
3. Monitor the shows that they watch as much as possible! Not everything that is labeled ‘child friendly’ is for them to sit and take in. You will be shocked at the content of some of these supposed children programmes. So keep a close eye on their TV time. There are Christian cartoons and child appropriate shows available, so vote in favour of those instead.
4. Another important one is the music they listen to. Music being so catchy, let’s ensure whatever they are repeating from songs is not derogatory or carrying an ungodly message. With various sounds to worship God, find music that they will enjoy but still has God in mind. If anything, you can make up your own songs together and enjoy.
These ideas are not limited to parents, It’s also for the auntie, uncle, grandparent, godparent or anyone that has young people around them. Some children may not come from christian homes but it is our duty to share and influence them in a godly manner.
I’m personally thankful for the godly influences I had around me, in my godmother and grandma - as they always surrounded me with godly things. I learned to pray, sing gospel songs and remember some scripture, all of which was from an extremely young age. So even though as I got older and ended up doing my own thing, God by His mercies allowed those planted seeds to grow from when I was a child - that now I am older, have not departed from.
I believe in the saying it takes a village to raise a child, so let’s all do our part in making sure that the will of God in Deuteronomy 11:19 is done in the younger generations lives.