Devout Christians: Children Respond to Our Spiritual Life.

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( Taking the time to talk to our children about morals and values is very important. As they get older, and find themselves faced with various situations, the words we have imparted to them will come back to them when they need it. It seems the words are more effective when we walk out in our daily life what we are trying to instill in them. Those moments are created by the habits our children pick up from watching us navigate life situations. This is also the case when it comes to spiritual matters.  Children, though they don’t realize it, crave order and routine. When we are consistent… are they, be it positive or negative. It is easy to look at the state of our youth and indict  them on who they will become as adults.

Devout Christians: Children Respond to Our Spiritual Life.

However, when looking at the parents often times we can see a spiritual pattern in our children, or lack thereof, based on how the parents choose to display that aspect of their life before their kids’ eyes. Our spiritual behavior and energy is not something we need to speak about because it will manifest. However, it will inform our children in ways we never expected, and it can go as far as governing their behaviors towards us. Sometimes they refuse to listen because our spirit reeks of hypocrisy and dishonesty. It’s time to evaluate self on a deeper level because the children are responding…and they are in many ways mimicking the behavior.

I was once told the hardest thing to do is parent yourself out of your children. Nothing could have been truer. Granted, when we think of this it tends to be in reference to the things we can physically see in our children. Because of this when we think of children responding to our spirituality, we might make the mistake of only considering our outward physical habits. A great example of this is prayer. If there is a standing prayer time in your home, your children see you gather the house for prayer, and it becomes a part of their habit. Same can be said for blessing food, telling others you’ll pray for them, reading your bible openly, and praising God in the home. These actions are positive, and it does help teach a spiritual routine…but the spirituality they will respond to most heavily is what is in you. You can do all of the above mentioned, but they will pick up on things such as hypocrisy, liar, mean hearted, truthful, compassionate, and kindness.

Whether good or bad they will be able to experience your spiritual life and how what is in you interact first and foremost with them, and then with the rest of the world. This is important because there are times when our children seem to be a challenge and we can’t seem to reel them in no matter what method we try. It is important to make sure that the thing you are trying to break them out of isn’t something you actively do as though it’s nothing. Children tend to have very sensitive spirits and can pick on our disingenuous behavior towards them…just as they can pick on if they are loved.

I’m learning that the first priority is to continue to work on myself. To work on my internal tendencies that project my spiritual walk to my children. That has to be a priority because this will mold their behavior and spirit more than my words. They need to see fell me honor God as well as see it. They need to see me be honest without justification or burden. They need to feel my genuine relationship with God and then with them.  What our children can feel in our walk is just as important as what they see. Giving attention to self in this area allows us to see if your child is responding negatively as a result of something negative that is triggered by what you are dealing with spiritually. If you know you are battling with hypocrisy it will be difficult when trying to parent that out the child because it’s in you.

My son reminded me that I needed to work more from a spirit of patience, and I learned this when he appeared to be lacking in the area. It wasn’t enough for me to sit him down constantly speaking on the matter. I noticed his behavior began to change as my behavior changed. Parenting is a nonstop responsibility.  How the home functions spiritually is important to the development of our children, and that spiritual position has an effect on how our children behave and see life. We must be careful that we aren’t teaching them poor spiritual habits because of our own. I won’t lie and say it’s easy, but it is definitely worth it.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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