Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 032 - Teach Your Children to Live in the Power of the Spirit
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #032 – Teach Your Children to Live in the Power of the Spirit
Thank you for listening to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast. My prayer is that you and I will parent with purpose and confidently connect with Christ and our children moment by moment.
When I think back on my life before Christ, I remember things I did as a child or young adult that broke God’s heart. Even now, as a believer of over 40 years, I regret how I still cause God pain. So much more so before I became a believer, of course, but at that time I had no idea life could be different. When I think of how my life was before I knew Jesus, I also sometimes stop to think of the world before He lived on earth.
Can you imagine living before Jesus came? Trying to learn and keep all of the laws would be so hard, and of course, impossible. Remembering to dress a particular way, not eat certain foods, sacrifice animals, and so on must have been so stressful. It’s another thing we can thank Jesus for. Through Christ, we are delivered from the law. Now we are able to serve Him with a new Spirit. You see, in the past, we bore fruit to death, but now we bear fruit to God. What does that mean? Because of Jesus, our relationship with the law is broken. We are free. Through faith in Jesus, we now submit to Him and are able to bear fruit for Him.
Praises be to God that He gives us a way to Him through Jesus so we may repent, submit, and live with Him for eternity. Even better, we don’t have to wait until He brings us home. Through the Holy Spirit inside, we can experience life changes right now.
Praise God for His mercy and lovingkindness toward us. Have you lived a perfect life? No. None of us have. Because of Christ, we can exist with new life through Jesus. It comes with an assurance that we are a new creation. Not only is our life renewed, but so are our minds and desires. If we choose to follow Him with humble repentance, we can also look to Him for transformation, guidance and provision.
Isn’t this what you desire for yourself, but also for each of your children? As believers, we want nothing more than what 3 John 1:4says, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
What can we do to ensure that our children walk in the truth?
Galatians 6:7-9 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
When believers sow to desires of the fleshinstead of the Spirit inside, the sin we succumb to will always make us progressively worse in character if we continue to engage in it. This happens whether or not we are believers.
Sowing to the Spirit means that we walk under or by the Holy Spirit. It means we walk in truth. We strive to please and submit to Him. There is no personal truth, as the world today likes to promote. Truth is truth and only comes from a holy and righteous God.
By submitting to Christ, we gain everlasting life. This transformational truth and benefit is a by-product of the adoration and obedience we naturally offer our Lord as we honor Him. Through following God, we obtain a life that lasts forever, but we can also receive an excellent quality of life while we are on this earth.
This transformed lifeis what our children witness. It is the life that will influencethem more greatly than this world will. It is imperative that we allow the Holy Spirit to change us to be more Christlike daily as we seek and submit to Christ. That means we must intentionally pursue Him. He must be at the top of our agenda daily. Our children must see and experience what a joyful life transformed by and through Christ looks like so they will know and desire Jesus.
As Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Let us begin with our own home. Our precious God-given children. It is no accident or coincidence that you are entrusted with the children you have. Whether by birth or adoption, God has blessed you with the privilege of influencing them for Him.
Instead of viewing specific momentsin which to try to influence our children (or others) for Jesus, we must understand that our entire life is an opportunity to make Him known.
The consistency by which we obey and honor Him with joy, allowing His nature to be the directing force of our actions, reactions, words, and desires directly affects those we live with and come into contact with each day. It is the lifestyle we adhere to, and it becomes what is advertised and advanced for others to emulate as they come to view Jesus as they see Him appear through us.
Ephesians 5:15-20 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Viewing life moments (hard and easy) with a perspective beyond this world enables us to remember that life is not about us.
Life in this world is about maturing in Christ and if you are a parent, teaching your children to seek God through everything that occurs.
During experiences of daily life, we should ask these questions:
What lessons can be learned?
What truths are being exposed?
What mindset shift must happen?
How can I ensure this draws me nearer to Christ?
How can I be obedient to God through this?
How can I influence my children for Christ through this?
Teaching your child these truths and questions from a young age enables them to begin seeing this world with a vision more like Christ’s. They begin to understand that they are being raised to be set-apart for service to Christ. Not as a method of bondage, but freedom.
If you are new to the podcast, you may not have heard a story I shared about my youngest that illustrates what I mean when I say to train your children to view this world with eyes, heart, and mind focused on eternity. When my youngest had been home with us for a couple of years, she was looking through my jewelry box one day. As I shared stories of the pieces, she picked up a star sapphire ring. “It’s so pretty!” she exclaimed. I told her that the ring was a present from her daddy the first year we were dating. “Come here,” I told her. As I waved my hand for her to follow me, I took the ring to stand under light. “Look. The ring is pretty on its own, but now under light, you can see a beautiful white star.” As she oohed and aahed over the star I continued, “It’s like our life. We can choose to stand in the light of Jesus and allow Him to be reflected in what we do and in who we are.” She gazed at me intently with the ring shining on her finger. “Or we can choose not to shine Him in our actions and the way we live.”
As we choose to take each moment in life captive just as we are instructed to take our thoughts captive, we live with eternal perspective. This viewpoint of life will transform our relationship with Christ and our children. It becomes the foundation they will build to choose whether to accept Christ as their Savior and live in ways that honor and please Him.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
As they see Christ living through you, your children will allow Him to live through them.
Children accept the gospel with innocent confidence and clarity of heart. Instructing them in the Lord from a young age allows them to begin allowing Christ to be their guide and foundation before they have even accepted Him as Savior. Helping them to seek Jesus through trials, tragedies, triumphs, and success all set their heart and mind, as well as their spirit, to be more in alignment with His. Mentoring your child in this way allows your child to live with less stress, fears, anxieties, and also sets them up with an important confidence built through the Lord and not on self.
Colossians 3:1-2 says, “Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Setting a goal for your child to live with this eternal perspective means that you are also living with a perspective set on eternity, rather than this world. As you grow in your walk with Christ and view every opportunity life brings you as one that enables you to mature in Him, you will also set this high goal for your parenting.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of Your perfect Word. In Your infinite love and guidance You left us everything we need through Jesus, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit alive inside believers. Guard us, Father, so that we do not sow to please our spirit, but to honor and follow Yours. Help us never to grow weary of doing good, simply because we deepen our love for You with great intention daily. Thank you, Father for loving us and showing us the way to eternal life with You and great fruits of the Spirit now. May we long for You more each moment and allow our children to see what it means to truly follow You through our mentorship. Enable us to view this world and our life through your eternal mindset. Help us, Father. We need You so much more than we know. 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.
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Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will sway 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.