Search
Close this search box.
baby sleeping

Should You Guide Your Child’s Spiritual Growth?

As a parent, should you guide your child’s spiritual growth? Do parents influence their child regarding faith matters? Or is are spiritual matters a personal issue we leave for our child to decide on their own?

Young boy holding Bible and laughing

Sunday I sat in church with my married daughter, her husband, and my youngest child who is still at home. Across the nation, my college daughter took an extended lunch to attend Easter service. Scattered in four states, my seven grown children have a relationship with the Lord and attend church because they choose to be involved with a church community.

For this mommy, that is the best! And our common faith provides solid common ground – relationship glue that keeps us close to the Lord and close to each other no matter how many miles separate us.

Sunday begs the question – should parents influence their children regarding faith matters? Or is this a personal issue we leave for our child to decide on their own?

What Is Spiritual Growth?

Faith is the basis for hope and purpose in life. It is protection against prejudice, hatred, superficial materialism, and agnosticism. Faith translates into unique value for each individual, forgiveness, and generosity. Involvement in a faith community provides you and your child with resources to tap and people to ask when questions arise.

Certainly the critics of religion and the church have some valid points. But there is nothing else on the planet we completely jettison from our life merely because it is not perfect.

Your Child’s Spiritual Growth

Why should a parent give priority to a child’s spiritual development?

  • Spirituality has to do with – well – eternity. That makes it important.
  • A child’s spiritual development impacts his character.
  • Children naturally have questions about the meaning of life, and an intrinsic knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
  • In the same way a child requires guidance in every other aspect of life, he needs guidance about what those in his world believe and why.
  • To leave choices in this vital area strictly up to a child to “make his own decision” is confusing for the child.
  • Gentle instruction about family beliefs gives your child security in the ‘whys’ regarding what those around him do and don’t do.
  • As an adult, your child will make faith his own. The ultimate choice belongs to each individual.
  • A parent who has provided education and guidance in matters of faith equips their child to make an educated and confident choice when the time naturally arrives.
  • A shared faith is one of the characteristics of strong families.
  • An authentic relationship between child and parent encompasses opportunities to talk about everything – including faith, and the ethics and morality that stem from beliefs.

Children develop in four major categories; physically, emotionally, functionally, and spiritually. Physical development includes healthy habits in nutrition, good hygiene, and nurturing environments. Emotionally, children learn to fully experience and contain their emotions, and speak the truth. Functionality encompasses academics and ongoing life skills that prepare your child to be personally responsible and able to care for others. The fourth important area of growth and development is spiritual.

Faith-Based Community

Church is the laboratory where we explore and develop faith in a faith-based community. Like our nuclear family, our spiritual family is glorious and messy and frustrating and welcoming.

Everything I need to know about the church I learned from Noah’s Ark:

One: Don’t miss the boat.
Two: Remember that we are all in the same boat.
Three: Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.
Four: Stay fit. When you’re six hundred years old, someone may ask you to do something
really big.
Five: Don’t listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
Six: Build your future on high ground.
Seven: For safety’s sake, travel in pairs.
Eight: Speed isn’t always an advantage. The snails were on board with the cheetahs.
Nine: When you’re stressed, float for a while.
Ten: Remember, amateurs built the Ark; professionals built the Titanic.
Eleven: No matter the storm, when you are with God, there’s always a rainbow waiting.
Twelve: It may stink on the ark, but it sure beats the alternative.

PeggySue Wells is the author of 29 books including Bonding With Your Child Through Boundaries, and The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make.

Search

Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.