RAISING SPIRITUALLY STRONG CHILDREN
Date: December 30
"And the little boy grew and became strong in spirit."
This little boy was John the Baptist. His purpose was to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. During his ministry, he preached the same sermon that Jesus preached, which was repentance. In Matthew 3:2 we read, "And saying, Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." But here in Luke 1:80, we read about John the Baptist as a young boy. It says here, "And the little boy grew and became strong in spirit." So John was growing on two levels. Not only did he grow physically but he grew spiritually as well.
Our children need more than just to become strong in their bodies or even in their intellects. They need to become strong in their spirits as well. The German translation Hoffnung fuer Alle, (which means, ‘hope for all') says in this verse, "John grew and learned to always better understand the will of God." So as he grew in physical stature, his understanding of the will of God grew as well. In the same way we need to feed our physical bodies in order for it to grow, we also have to feed our spirits as well. But what is food for our spirit? Well the will of God is the Word of God. If we want to know more about God's will, then we need to know more of God's Word. That's food to our spirit.
One of the greatest things that parents can do with their children is teach them from the Word of God. We need to teach them God's Word until they learn to develop their own relationship with God in reading His Word, allowing Him to speak to them, and then applying His Word into their lives. That's how they will grow spiritually. That's exactly what John the Baptist did. He read the Word, meditated upon it, and practiced it in his own life. Those three elements helped him to become strong in spirit.
We are primarily spiritual beings. Since this is true, we are to feed our spirits with the Word of God even more than we feed our bodies. I'm sure John the Baptist spent a lot of time in the presence of God in order to grow in his spirit. So you and I need to do the same. We are to spend time in God's presence, reading His Word, listening for His voice, and obeying His commandments. But not only are we to do that, we are to teach our children that as well. As a little boy, John the Baptist grew and became strong in spirit. In order for our children to grow and become strong in their spirits, they need to do what John did. They need to learn from the Word and develop a personal relationship with God.
As parents, we desire for our children to be in good health. We desire them to be academically successful. We desire them to be blessed in their relationships. But the greatest desire that parents have is for their children to develop a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. What good is it to be in the best health but not know the Lord? What good is it to have the best education, but go on in life without having a personal relationship with Jesus? Having all those other things are important, but not as important as having the eternal security that Jesus provides.
It is our job as parents to teach and train our children from the Word so that they will develop their own relationship with God. That way, they will be willing to submit under the leadership of the Holy Spirit in their lives. We as parents would not have achieved as much if our children grew up and had everything in the world but didn't have the Lord. Coming to know and to love Jesus is the greatest miracle of all, and for parents whose children have made that decision, it is their greatest accomplishment.