In the journey of motherhood, one of the most profound responsibilities we carry is raising our children to become strong and resilient individuals, both in the physical and spiritual realms. As Christian moms, we have the privilege of not only nurturing their bodies but also their souls, equipping them to become spiritual warriors who stand firm in their faith. Here are 6 tips for raising spiritual warriors in today’s challenging world.
Get Them Rooted in Scripture
The Bible is the cornerstone of our faith, and instilling a love for God’s Word in our children is crucial. Regular family Bible study and age-appropriate devotions provide opportunities to explore biblical stories, principles, and wisdom. As you delve into the scriptures together, encourage questions and discussions that help your children apply these lessons to their lives. But Mama, you can’t lead your children where you haven’t been yourself. God’s Word is our guide for everything we need. My habit for two decades every morning of the world is to spend 30 minutes to an hour with the Lord.
Another good habit that we should all do is memorizing Scripture. It’s amazing what all their minds can soak up and remember! We set some verses to either song or a crazy beat with motions, and a decade later we can all still quote those verses! Do what works best for your kids, whether it’s acting out the verse, having them write it out, or using creative symbols for different word cues.
Spend Time Together in Prayer
Teaching your children the power of prayer not only strengthens their connection with God but also empowers them to face challenges with confidence. Encourage your children to share their joys, concerns, and worries in prayer. Whether it’s a simple bedtime prayer or a heartfelt plea during difficult times, cultivating a habit of prayer equips them with a vital spiritual tool.
You can choose to share prayer requests during family time, then take time to lift up those needs. Our kids need to hear us pray so they can know how to do so on their own. Prayer is simply a conversation with God, nothing magical or scary. We come to Him to praise Him, to give Him thanksgiving, and to confess our sins. It is important to spend time in these areas so we don’t treat God like a genie, only presenting our requests to Him. He desires for us to cast our cares upon Him, but He also desires (and is worthy of) our praise!
Model Your Faith
Children learn by example, and our actions often speak louder than our words. Model a vibrant and genuine faith by living out your beliefs in your daily life. Demonstrating forgiveness, compassion, and love in your interactions with others will leave a lasting impression on your children, shaping their own attitudes and behaviors. This includes forgiveness and kindness in our home. It’s a sad truth that sometimes those we love the most, we are most comfortable with and can be less than kind in our interactions. Our kids need to see a marriage that exemplifies Christ’s love for the church so nurture your relationship with your husband first and foremost.
Worship and Community
Participation in worship services and engagement with a supportive church community can play a pivotal role in nurturing your children’s faith. These experiences help them understand that faith is not an individual endeavor. Hebrews 10:25 tells us, “Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Encourage them to participate in age-appropriate church activities, youth groups, and missions, fostering a sense of belonging and purpose. You can also have them find an area of service in your church. My boys always served in the music ministry with their dad, and my daughter enjoys working with younger kids. They need to see you contribute in service as well! It takes dozens if not hundreds of volunteers each Sunday, depending on the size of your church, so jump in!
Displaying Faith When Times are Hard
Equip your children with the understanding that faith doesn’t shield us from challenges but empowers us to navigate them with grace and courage. In my blog post Homeschooling Through Life Changes, I detailed many trials and life change we will all go through at some point, along with some encouraging pointers to get through these times. It can be difficult to model faith sometimes in painful circumstances, but families can weather the storms together.
A great practice is to study people in the Bible who faced trials and challenges and emerged stronger in their faith. This is good for us AND our kids! Here are a few examples:
- Job: Job is perhaps one of the most well-known examples of unwavering faith in the face of immense suffering. He experienced the loss of his wealth, health, and family, yet he remained faithful to God, saying, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). In the end, God restored his fortunes and blessed him abundantly.
- Abraham: God called Abraham to leave his homeland and go to a new land, promising to make him the father of a great nation. Despite years of waiting and facing various challenges, including the lack of a child, Abraham’s faith in God’s promise remained steadfast. He is often called the “father of faith” in the Bible.
- Joseph: Joseph, the son of Jacob, faced betrayal by his own brothers, was sold into slavery, and unjustly imprisoned in Egypt. Through it all, he maintained his trust in God. Eventually, he became a powerful leader in Egypt and played a crucial role in saving his family and many others from famine.
- Moses: Moses faced numerous trials throughout his life, from being born during a time when male Hebrew infants were ordered to be killed, to leading the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years. Despite his initial reluctance and the challenges he encountered, Moses continued to trust and obey God’s guidance.
- David: Before becoming king, David faced the giant Goliath, persecution from King Saul, and personal failures, including his affair with Bathsheba. Through it all, David repented and sought God’s forgiveness, and he is known for his “heart after God.”
- Peter: One of Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter, denied knowing Jesus three times during Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. However, after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter’s faith was renewed, and he became a bold preacher of the Gospel, ultimately giving his life for his faith.
- Paul: Formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, Paul was a persecutor of Christians before his conversion on the road to Damascus. After this transformation, he faced persecution, imprisonment, and hardships as he spread the message of Christ. His unwavering faith and dedication to his mission are evident in his many letters in the New Testament.
Cultivating a Heart of Service
Teach your children the value of selflessness and compassion by engaging in acts of service as a family. Volunteering at local charities, participating in outreach programs, and supporting those in need are tangible ways to live out Christ’s teachings and instill a heart for others in your children. This can be lived out by serving in church as well. When your child hits middle school age, most churches are happy to have them serve as a greeter or in the children’s area. My daughter had great fun working in the cafe whipping up coffee drinks.
There are so many wonderful charities that will allow children of all ages to volunteer when a parent is with them. When my boys were elementary age, we served at a food bank restocking shelves of food. A kid of any age can do that!
Other things we did over the years included visiting nursing homes, having the kids make cards for local service members, baking and taking it to the local police station and firehouse… do what touches your heart, then do your best to involve your kids!
In the journey of raising spiritual warriors, remember that your role as a Christian mom is to plant seeds of faith, trusting that God will nurture and grow those seeds in His perfect timing. Each child’s journey is unique, so be patient and adapt your approach to their individual needs and personalities.
As you invest time, love, and intentional effort into raising spiritual warriors, you are not just shaping their lives on Earth but also contributing to the eternal impact they will make. With God’s guidance and your steadfast commitment, you are equipping your children to stand firm in their faith, face life’s battles, and shine as lights in a world that needs the transformative power of Christ’s love.