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Encouraging Your Child as a New Christian

The game ‘Hide and Seek’ is a familiar, fun childhood activity. The point, obviously, is for one individual to search out every possible spot of the given area in order to find the concealed person. The anticipation of finding the one hidden is what makes the game so much fun. In comparison, what joy it is to seek after the Lord in order to experience all that comes in relationship with Him after becoming a Christian.

As your children come to know Jesus as their personal Savior, you’ll want to talk with them about pursuing Him in all matters of life as they mature in their Christian walk. This is part of becoming a disciple—a follower of Christ. The reason we pursue time with the Lord, even though we have already been saved, is to have a closer connection with Him. We want to know His ways and direction for our lives.

The Lord will guide your child in decisions she needs to make regarding friends, school situations, family relations, and any matter that comes her way. This is an important point to bring out when discussing this issue of discipleship with your child. She needs the confidence in knowing her Lord is with her at all times, and that He is interested in every part of her life.

As you talk with your child about having a growing relationship with God, compare it to a familiar friendship she has with someone else. As that friendship grows, she becomes more in tune with the ways of the other person. She learns what makes her friend happy as well as things that disappointment.

It works the same way with the Lord. In Romans 12:2 we read, “Don’t live any longer the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Then you will be able to test what God wants for you. And you will agree that what he wants is right. His plan is good and pleasing and perfect.”(NIVR) This verse reminds us that as Christians, our thinking will be changed to that of God’s thinking as we seek Him. We can trust in the Lord to conform us to His image as we mature in our faith.

As we’re reminded in Proverbs 22:6 we are to, “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Here are a few simple tips on guiding your child to seek the Lord:

  • Model Bible study in your own lifestyle. Your relationship building with God will become evident in the eyes of your child and she’ll eventually want to follow your lead in it. Talk with her about the things you’re learning through Bible study and prayer time. This will show that you’re participating in spiritual growth just as you’re encouraging her to do in her own quiet times. Modeling is a great way of changing behavior in our children.
  • Establish time in prayer. Share with your child some answers to prayer that you’ve received from the Lord recently. This will become a positive reinforcement for him to pursue answers to his own life events through conversation with God. Hopefully he will then share some of those things with you. As this back-and-forth type of conversation happens regularly, your child will find that seeking the Lord’s will is a very natural, enjoyable aspect of the Christian life. A great Bible promise for children to learn is, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). Remind your child of this verse often as you see God answering prayers.
  • Encourage your child to journal any questions and answers she is currently seeking from the Lord during her quiet times. Assure her that the spiritual journal is a private matter between herself and God. Writing down answers that God reveals will encourage her to continue building on a close relationship with Him as she waits to see how He responds to her needs.
  • Attend church regularly as a family. One thing that encourages Christians of all ages is fellowship with other believers. By participating in children’s and student ministries, kids can learn so much about growing in their faith! Again, as a parent, you should set the model for your children by attending worship and Bible study at your church on a regular basis. Discuss what you each learned that day as you return home. This can make for a fun, interesting way of comparing how God speaks to each of us differently through His Word.

As with other matters of educating our family members, parents must seize the moments throughout the day to teach children to seek the Lord’s heart after they become Christians. God delights to be in close relationship with all who know Him!

Dixie Walker
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