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Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 067 - Have You Planned for Your Child's Spiritual Growth?

Purposed Parent Connected Child Podcast Episode 067 - Have You Planned for Your Child's Spiritual Growth?

Welcome to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child podcast – Episode 067 – How Are You Planning for Your Child’s Spiritual Growth?

I remember wanting to read everything I could about child development when I was pregnant with my first child. I was eighteen years old, and if I heard another parent or doctor state something, or if the information was was published, I thought it had to be true! How different I feel about those sources today. Regardless, that curiosity and desire to do well as a mother spurred me to find answers before they were needed. I wanted to be ahead, to know what to expect, and to give my child the best start in life.

By the time I had my second child, I felt pretty confident that I could rely more on instinct and experience than what others said. But a generation later, when we brought our ten month old daughter home from China, I was back to reading books plus taking attachment, cultural, and trauma classes. Ten years after that, when we brought our youngest home as a nine year child with much deprivation in her history, I had also completed several foster-to-adopt courses. All of those courses and materials, combined with lots of prayer left me as prepared as I could be. People say you never know what to expect when you adopt, but the truth is that you don’t know what you will encounter as a bio mom, either.

Most mothers like to be prepared. It makes us feel like better parents when we think we know a little more about what to expect. We feel empowered when we’re armed with the resources we might need. The phrase “mama bear” is so true. We fight for our children and knowledge is one of the best defenses we can have.

But one thing I’ve noticed is that most mothers don’t think about planning for the spiritual development of their children. I certainly didn’t do it the first time I parented. It wasn’t until my husband and I decided to begin parenting with a baby again over twenty years later that we created a purposed parenting plan that caused me to think about charting spiritual growth. Obviously, spiritual development of your child is even more important than their physical, mental, and emotional development, because it affects their eternity. Why do we accidentally leave so much of it to chance?

One of the Bible verses I’m intrigued by is Luke 2:52. In it, we read, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”  Surprisingly, God’s Word doesn’t tell us much about Jesus as a child. Yet this short verse exposes so much if we pay attention.

First, let’s stop and look up the definition of wisdom, “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action, discernment, or insight.” Next, if we look up the word stature, it says, “degree of development attained; level of achievement.” We know this means the Bible is telling us Jesus had godly insight and discernment, the wisest you can get and He achieved it at a very high level. As Jesus matured, He continued to grow in these ways of God. 

Don’t you bet God charted the spiritual growth of His Son? Don’t you think He was purposed in what Jesus was exposed to and what God allowed to happen? In how He used every experience to mature Jesus’ character and godliness? Just as we should do with our children.

Because God intentionally planted eternity on our hearts, He also placed the need for us to mature spiritually while we grow physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Just as He did with Jesus.

Ecclesiastes 3:11a says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart.”

Just as there are medically proven developmental stages for children, the spiritual life of a child seems to mature in stages. Before the age of seven, a child typically cannot understand the abstract. Some say that the thought of a Heavenly Father may be difficult to comprehend because children aren’t able to see God or understand specific theological points in discussions. However, they do understand and enjoy rituals and symbols, such as the cross or prayers. Although research demonstrates what is believed about children at this age, believing mothers must remember what the Bible tells us in Matthew 19:14.Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 

I believe that when we teach our children Biblical truths about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit from the beginning of our time with them, and we prayerfully nurture their faith. When we ask God to convey His wisdom to us in how to parent His child in godly ways, He will honor our prayers. Continue exposing your child to God’s truths as early as possible in ways that enable your child to build interest, understanding, and faith. The heart of a young child is ready to hear about Jesus. You are nurturing their eternity.

Until the late preteen years, around the age of twelve, you are helping your child construct their important foundation of faith. They are growing a personal sense of connection to God through experience with family. Where and how your child worships, the truths he has learned from the Bible, other faith-based experiences, family and church rituals, and traditions remain very important in building faith and understanding at this age.

The teen years should solidify connection with God through Christ. A teen is searching for answers about self, the world, and others. You know Jesus is the answer. As you have helped your child build identity through Christ in younger years, you can now help them connect what they’ve already learned and experienced so they will bring faith, trust, and obedience to a higher level.

Throughout the life of your child, whether in the earliest or teen years, continue with traditions you’ve established at home and church. Continue teaching God’s truths and helping your child understand why they believe. Although sometimes you may think your child doesn’t pay attention, they are absorbing everything, especially what you deem important and what you remain consistent with. Your faith, godly character, and obedience to God and His Word will affect them more than any other influence. If you are prayerfully and purposely committed to God, and personal growth in and through Him, your family, and children will see God at work in you. Remember, God gifts you with perfect parenting direction within His perfect Life Manual, His holy Word, the Bible and your prayerful time with Him.

As you study God’s Word, you see that He has given you exactly what is needed to influence children for Jesus. He has offered guidelines, guards, and promises. When you hear the following verses, listen with new ears. Hear the heart behind the words. Think of ways you should use the verses to lead you and help you influence and raise your children for God. Let me give a few examples:

Psalm 34:11 says, “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” The only way to learn the fear of the Lord is to know Him. After you accept Christ as your personal Savior, live with the Holy Spirit within, study God’s Word, and trust and follow the Lord with humble submission, you are transformed. You are made new. You carry new eyes, ears, heart, and desires. As you learn more of God and His truths, you carry the fear of the Lord because you recognize His holiness and sovereignty. Spiritual growth has occurred and you are able to help your children grow, as well.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” God tells us that we should be thinking of Him, living for and growing in Him, and purposely teaching our children to do the same moment by moment. Living for and growing in God should be as simple as the act of breathing. Life is full of distractions. Remember, God didn’t place Adam and Eve in a world like we have today and they still fell. We must be extra cautious of the confusion, interferences, and sin faced daily. God never said parenting for Him would be easy, but He has required us to do so. What will you sacrifice to obey Him and make Him known to your children?

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Have you seen parents who treat their children as competitors or best friends? I have. None of us are perfect parents, but our children deserve the best we can give them. Your child receives your best when you intentionally draw near to God so He will draw nearer to you. Daily. Every moment. Wear those invisible blinders that lead your heart, mind, and eyes to Him. The closer you are to Christ, humbly trusting and obeying, learning how to be the godly woman and parent He desires, the less exasperated, confused, or hopeless your child will be.

Numbers 14:18 says, “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished; He punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” What needs to change in your life or the life of your spouse? Living with eternal perspective means paying attention to ways you can extract sins and spiritual neglect from your life and home. What happens now moves into future generations. How are you, your spouse, and children going to influence those after you for eternity? Your choices and decisions matter.

Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” Who you are and what you do are drawing your child closer to or further away from Christ. How are you moving nearer to God daily? In what ways are you making Him known to your children? Do you inhale God’s love, grace, and mercy moment by moment and exhale His truths for your child to grasp? By your own hands you are influencing the next generation for Jesus in ways that either honor or dishonor God.

There are so many verses – a whole book of them – that we could go over in this episode. I’ll list a few more verses without my thoughts for you to ponder and begin with. There are so many additional excellent verses to use in the Bible.

Look at the Bible with new eyes the next time you study. Pinpoint verses that may be used to shape your character, motives, parenting, marriage, and choices. This is the best start to purposed parenting and planning for your child’s spiritual growth.

John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

Psalm 119:97 says, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.”

Galatians 5:25 says, “Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.”

Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

1 Samuel 3:13 says, “For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.”

Proverbs 23:24 says, “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Psalm 19:7-9 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.”

Psalm 127:3 says, “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.”

Use these verses to help you begin charting the spiritual life of your children in purposed ways. Just as you mark the walls of your home to show the height your child is reaching, impress the heart and mind of your child with spiritual truths that will shape their character and morals for eternity.

Dear Heavenly Father, how gracious You are to us. How can You entrust Your children into our incapable hands? Your generosity is astounding! Your holy character and sovereignty over our lives are such a gift. Your guidelines to us are a treasure that we need to cherish with more intentionality. May we read Your Words with open hearts and receive Your teachings with open hands. Help us to interpret and examine Your teachings with wisdom and insight that comes from You. Help us use Your Words to raise our children and influence our grandchildren for generations to come. May our families shine for You because we make time to know, love, and honor You now and help our children to do the same. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Supporting and encouraging mothers to rest in Christ and pursue a holy relationship with Him so they purposely raise set-apart children is the cry of my heart. I believe godly parenting is rooted in relationship with Christ and the mindset a mother carries. That’s why I’ve created the Set-Apart Collective. Would you like to walk with other like-minded mothers to deepen your walk with Christ, learn a Christ-centered Motherhood Mindset Model, and create a Purposed Parenting Plan? I want to share special news with my podcast listeners. The Set-Apart Collective wait list is open now. Send me an email at to let me know you’d like to receive information and a special code to receive a discount if you find you’d like to join the collective. It’s time for mothers to be purposed in preparing their children for a lifetime pursuit of Christ.

If you connected in some way with this episode, would you please rate and review the podcast on Apple or Spotify? The best reviews are by word of mouth, so if you would also choose a friend to recommend the show to, imagine the change we could see in the way mothers parent for Christ.

Also, please tell friends and family that the podcast can be found at, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place.

Remember, if you’re not purposed in knowing Jesus and showing Him to the next generation, the world will likely sway your children away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast enables you to stop being a good mom and focus on being a godly parent. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to parent with eternal purpose and connection.

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