Just as human parents swell with pride in their child’s achievements, our heavenly Father receives glory, renown, and satisfaction when His children reach their peak potential in Christ.
Our Highest Priority
If we asked our heavenly Father, “What is most important to You,” He might answer, “I have no greater joy than to hear that My children are walking in the truth” (3 John 4). The sanctification process—our spiritual growth—is very dear to God’s heart. Why? When believers walk uprightly, we fulfill God’s highest purpose.
Ask any Christian parent, “Do you want your child to reach his or her peak potential?” The answer is always, “Yes, of course!” Follow up that first question with, “In addition to his or her salvation, is anything more important to you?” Parents usually respond, “No. Nothing else compares with the priority of my child becoming all that God wants him or her to be.”
Since our highest priority is for our children to reach their full potential, why are many Christians “mediocre?” Why do so few children possess wholehearted zeal for God? There are two main reasons. First, in an effort to be “cool” and to fit in, many kids become satisfied with lackluster spiritual growth. The world belittles righteousness, selflessness, and humility—the very virtues that God prizes!
Second, kids rarely rise above the level of adult expectations. They reach only as high as we hold the bar. We often place the “spiritual growth” bar far too low, causing students to believe that their faith is not all that important. Thus, we’re cheating our children! By establishing higher standards, we can motivate children to keep growing as Jesus’ lifelong disciples.
Every child deserves an opportunity to reach his or her peak potential; yet most kids attain only a fraction of their true capacity. Instead of seeking the summit of their abilities, they linger in the valley of complacency. Children need our help to reach the spiritual heights that God intends! It is time to “raise the bar.” Kids have untapped potential to learn practical skills for using God’s Word, relating to people, and living out their faith.
The Church and the family are two God-ordained institutions designed to reinforce each other. Kids need to see churches and families link arms together with consistent goals and programs. Churches that actively support parents breed parents who actively support the church. Children enjoy that synergy and thrive in that environment.
Unfortunately, many parents are overwhelmed with their responsibility to provide spiritual training. They did not receive adequate knowledge or skills when they grew up; therefore they lack a good grasp of how to pass the essentials of the faith along to their kids. This is where the church must step up. Local assemblies need to offer “spiritual mentoring” sessions, parenting classes, or training workshops so parents can teach and model biblical lifestyles to their own children.
Parents and churches can partner to maximize kids’ God-given gifts, talents, and abilities. Together, we can transform kids into dynamic disciples of Jesus Christ. Together, we can lead our children to know God intimately, love Him passionately, and serve Him selflessly.