Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 026 - Teach Your Child to Seek and Hear God Like Jesus
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #026 – Teach Your Child to Seek and Hear God Like Jesus
Are you yearning for greater connection with your child? Would you like to parent beyond the moment with eternal perspective? Let’s grow together now with practical tips, scripture, and stories geared to draw your heart to Jesus and guide your child into His arms.
I often consider what a precious gift we offer our children when we teach them to seek God and to hear God like Jesus did. How do we teach our children to seek and hear God with joy and purpose like Jesus did? I believe there are two important ways. We must seek and show God and we must teach our children how Jesus sought and heard God.
Psalm 78:5-8 says, “He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God.”
In just this one passage of Scripture, the Bible clearly tells us that our number one priority as a parent is to lead our child to God. Our Heavenly Father commanded that the stories of His mighty acts and provisions, as well as His laws would be passed to each generation. God commands each parent to diligently remember and honorHim and intentionally set the eyes and heart of their children on Him.
Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
I believe every Christian parent sets out to raise children to honor the Lord. As honorable as intentions may be though, moments turn into days, days into weeks and months, then months into years. The years we parent our children to adulthood at first glance seem like they will take forever, but then flash away too quickly. Even with great aspirations, life gets messy and problems occur. Unexpected setbacks happen in this world, and sometimes parents lose the importance of focusing on Christ and mentoring the way to Him each day as they deal with life issues that demand immediate attention.
Psalm 27:4 says, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”
Do you love the Lord? Are you attempting to grow in likeness of Him daily, to grow closer in relationship with Him? Do you hear His voice and savor the sweet sound of His instructions for yourself and your children?
As we read earlier in Psalm 78, God sets standards for each of us to follow in order to have the very best chance of living with His fullness of joy in family and raising children to know, love, and honor Him. In this sinful, imperfect, fallen world, we will never achieve bliss, but through studying and following God’s plan, we will move closer to Him and His good and perfect will. As we move nearer to God, our children see and value our Father and want to do the same.
In order for your children to recognize the Father’s voice, you must know the Son through personal relationship as your Savior. The closer you are to Christ, the more the Father will shine through you for your children to adore and seek.
As we live in ways that glorify and honor the Father, we desire to follow His commands. We pay close attention to what the Bible instructs. We read and study it regularly for clear and godly understanding of God’s voice, not the voice of the world. Our children see our desire for God and our consistency in finding and walking with Him. Our need for His strength and guidance, which shows them their need, as well.
God grants families the privilege of raising children for Him. He desires that we honor Him in the way we raise our children to see Him through us and drawthem nearer to Him in all we are and do as we cling even more tightly to Him. That means it is imperative that we know Jesus and that we know and understand God’s Word.
Despite what culture adopts or defends, it is not cruel or unloving to read, know, and state what God calls. We should not be unkind in the way we model God’s commands and instructions. As Christians, we are called to know and complete what God desires. Each person has the choice whether to even accept Christ as Savior. As Joshua 24:15b says, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
As we look to God’s word, we see many examples of ways to mentor our Father to our children. In the book of Exodus, for example, we see how He led His people, the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. I mention this particular story because of the important command God issues when this event occurs. Our loving Heavenly Father instructs the Israelites to teach their children all He had done for them. God, in His sovereignty knows that each generation removed from the story of His provision would rapidly cause a downfall or decline in love and honor for Him and in humble obedience to Him. Without gratitude for God foremost in the minds of the children, future descendants would not follow Him. All parents are given the privilege of raising the children God has entrusted to them.
Great privilege precedes great responsibility.
This blessing beckons the burden to instill God’s truths, morals, and commands into the lives of our children. This leads us to consider two steps.
1. Parents must disciple.
As you intentionally come to know God through personal relationship with Jesus, and move toward Christlike thoughts, words, actions, and reactions each day, you are more prepared to parent with purpose.
2. Parents must discipline.
Discipline that is completed with loving intentions for the purpose of teaching and correcting behavior is good and godly. Discipline instilled as punishment may drive your children away from God and you. Parenting, especially godly parenting, is a daily death to self when we desire to know, love, and obey God and to exhibit His qualities and characteristics. This enables and encourages our children to love, honor, respect, follow, and obey Him with intentional pursuit.
Psalm 94:12 says, “Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law.”
When a parent disciplines, they should be doing so in an attempt to make disciples. Ask yourself: Are you disciplining your children to follow your ungodly, fallen ways or are you pursuing Christand mentoring the way to Him through the way you live and correct with godly love and instruction?
Earlier I mentioned we must consider 2 steps. Let’s make that 3.
3. Parents must decide.
When we choose to parent with purpose, we make sure to provide our children with opportunities to be around others we know are strong godly influences to mentor and guide our children. We also use our personal influence to guide them in the proper ways regarding art, music, entertainment, language, desires, etc. Who we are on the inside is clearly evident to the children who live with us and constantly examine our every word, action, and reaction. We also read the Bible with them and provide an age appropriate study Bible we help them use so they can seek God in personal time. We remain in the Word so that we can answer questions or help them find the answers to the beautiful questions they pose after being in the presence of God through His Holy Word. We also mentor to our children that we find our life answers through God’s Word.
I’d also like to share a list of 5 “T’s” to remember as you travel a journey of parenting for the Lord.
Treasure the child or children God hand-chose and entrusted to come to you.
Train your child or children to pursue the One who intimately knows and adores them and purposed them for this time.
Teach your child or children that nothing in this world compares to the riches of life built on the foundation of Christ.
Transform your child or children by modeling godly love, language, and behavior.
Take your child or children before the Lord in Bible study and prayer so you may seek and know Him together, find His will, and follow His path.
Deuteronomy 11:19 says, “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Now that we’ve focused on what we can do in our individual lives to draw our children nearer to God, let’s examine what Jesus did to ensure He sought and heard the Father.
1. Jesus sought solitude with His Father. Unlike simply meditating to “clear His mind,” as many suggest doing in current culture, Jesus intentionally filled His mind with Scripture and thetruths of God. Jesus directed His mind to dwell on things aboveas instructed in Colossians 3:2, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
2. Jesus devoted undisturbed time for prayer with His Heavenly Father. Scripture makes the ways Jesus prayed clear. By studying our Savior, each of us may find new ways to cling to Him and draw nearer to God through prayer. Jesus prayed early in the morning. (Mark 1:35), Jesus went to desolate places to be alone with God (Luke 5:16), Jesus prayed without losing heart (Luke 18:1), Jesus honored God first when He prayed – before thanking Him or petitioning Him (Matthew 6:9), Jesus prayed to remain in God’s will (Matthew 26:39), Jesus trusted God to hear and respond (John 11:41, 42), Jesus prayed intensely and without distraction (Luke 22:44).
3. Jesus quoted Scripture. Jesus understood and valued the truth and inerrancy of Scripture. Many times, Jesus quoted Scripture to people and the devil. Just a few of the times are found in Matthew 4:4, 4:7, and 4:10, Matthew 5:17, 18, John 10:35, and John 17:17.
God knows we are not perfect. As we intentionally walk with Him, asking for His wisdom, guidance, provision, and protection in guiding His children to Him, He will provide. It doesn’t mean the road will be easy, but Jesus already told us there would be tribulation, but He has already overcome it.
God’s word carries the answers to every personal and parenting need we experience. Personal growth will only arrive through personal relationship with Jesus and consistent pursuit of His word and prayerful time together. As your child sees your godly characteristics and behavior modeled, and receive your encouragement to seek the Lord, you will thrive together in the love of Christ and teach your child to seek and hear God just like Jesus.
Dear Heavenly Father, glorious is Your name. Your love for us is beyond good and Your ways are perfect. Father, thank you for entrusting Your children into our incapable hands. We know we are not qualified to parent in the ways You desire, yet You give us opportunity to know You more fully and show You more clearly as we raise children in Your name and ways. God, there are so many ways we fail daily, yet Your grace abounds. Help us to know You well by time with You and enable us to mentor the way to You for our children. God, what a beautiful job You have given us. You planned the union of each parent and child! This broken world confuses and frustrates, but Your Word clarifies and simplifies all we should do. May we honor and please You more each day as we grow in wisdom and understanding of Your desires for us and Your children. May we ever remember that our children are gifts from You and are for Your good pleasure and purpose. Thank you for entrusting them to us. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to the “Purposed Parent/Connected Child” podcast. This and my “Live With Eternal Perspective” podcast may be found at terrihitt.com, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and they are part of the Spark Media Network. Both podcasts may also now be found on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place for your listening enjoyment.
If you enjoyed this topic, I suggest you listen to Purposed Parent/Connected Podcast Episode #015, “Hearing God’s Voice” or Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode #132 “Am I Hearing You, God?”
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Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Parent and Connect With Eternal Perspective.