Affirming Spiritual and Character Growth

This month we’ve been focusing on affirmation and have learned that the definition of affirm” is “to state as fact; assert strongly and publicly; to declare one’s support for; uphold; defend.”

We discussed the importance of affirming your children, your spouse, the other authorities in your children’s lives, and those who do hard work in your community. Today I want us to think about affirming the most important thing in your children’s lives as believers… spiritual growth.

I went to a fabulous parenting seminar with the National Center for Biblical Parenting in which I was taught that to help our children grow, we must know what they need. Here are some questions, I would suggest you ask yourself about each of your children as a sort of checklist about the next thing to work on and in which to mentor your children. You can pray through it, too.

  1. Does your child have a relationship with Jesus? Y N If no, just keep praying over this issue.
  2. If yes, does your child know how to read the Bible and is s/he doing it with you or on her/his own? If not, start here with a weekly Family Time Activity or a daily time devoted to reading the Bible together.
  3. If yes, how is your child’s prayer life? Does s/he feel comfortable praying out loud? Do you pray together about people you know or his/her classmates or teammates? If not, start here.
  4. If yes, does your child have friends who do not, yet, know Jesus? What can you do to empower your child to begin to share Jesus with those friends? Does s/he know how to present the Gospel to peers? If not, start here! There are great resources online about how to teach children how to present the Gospel and invite friends into relationship with Jesus.
  5. If your child is already walking with the Lord and sharing his/her faith with non-believing friends, you are well on your way to that child owning his/her faith for a lifetime. But there’s always more to grow in. What is the character trait that you see lacking in your child’s life? Is it self-control? Gentleness? Diligence? Focus? Gratitude? Whatever it is, create a plan of a few things you can begin to do with your child to grow in that area and remember to be praying for that specific character trait to mature in your child. When you see growth there, affirm your child for spiritual growth. There is no other affirmation that is as powerful as, “Son, I see you becoming more like Jesus in the area of (self-control/gentleness/etc).”
  6. When you see improvement and maturity there, move on to the next trait you’d like to see mature. Keep affirming spiritual growth and watch your child blossom!

Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24

What things have you done to help your children grow spiritually?