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Children have a limited God-awareness, which is their innate, made in the image of God morality, per Romans 2:14-15. The Lord gives them to parents, fellow image-bearers who should cooperate with the Lord (Ephesians 5:1) in real, practical, and mature ways that ultimately lead to their salvation (John 3:7). This graphic helps to communicate a child’s Adamic standing and the parent’s role in closing the gap that separates them from Christ. The following six points explain the meaning of the infographic.
The impact we have on our children is powerful because we are their earliest and most profound influencers. As they grow up in the context of our care, whether that care is good or bad, they are affected by our attitudes, words, and actions. What we do to them becomes the shaping influences that they will either imitate or reject. Our goal is to export to them—as much as we can—Christocentric attitudes, words, and actions.
Though no good or bad parent can make a child righteous or unrighteous, God calls us to cooperate with the Lord in the salvation of the child by (1) modeling the life of Christ before them (Ephesians 5:1) while (2) teaching them everything that He taught (Matthew 28:19-20). Thus, your life relationships—spouse, friends, relatives, workmates—become the pictures that your child experiences.
Suppose you were not presenting the life of Christ to your child (1 Corinthians 11:1). In that case, the chances of a kid rejecting God when they become teenagers are exponentially higher than parents who humbly present Jesus to their children while they are young. Though you realize only the Lord can save a kid, you don’t want to complicate that process by not being a disciple of Jesus.
Fear is the initial problem you will see in a child who is rejecting their parents. It starts while they are young. Let’s suppose a parent has a pattern of any of the following traits. These are not episodes but patterns in a parent’s life. If they exist, the child’s fear will increase.
A child’s fear forms a mental stronghold (2 Corinthians 10:3-6) that is much higher than a child living in a loving and safe home. You cannot overstate the need to provide a secure home, which is what love does. When a husband and wife love each other well, it permeates their children’s hearts, stabilizing them in an insecure, unstable world. When a parent exacerbates the child’s fear through any of the behaviors outlined, it will compel the child to find the security (safety) they crave through other means. He is looking for an accepting, approving, and loving community.
You will find a simple biblical template to model for your children in the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23. These nine elements give you a snapshot of what Christ was like and how you should be to your children. Look at the Christlike template to see how you are doing and how you may need to change. You can preface each Christ-trait with this question: “Are my children experiencing the (insert fruit) of Christ through me?”
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).