Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How is My Child's Spiritual Health?

‘How is my child’s spiritual health?’ This is a question that far too few parents ask themselves. In a world where we want our children to excel in their physical, scholastic, and social development, not near enough focus is put on a child’s spiritual development. (The Fellowship)

This is a message I received months ago and it got me thinking, more so than usual, about faithful parenting. How are my children doing spiritually? When my kiddos were younger I loved books like Ginger Plowman’s Don’t Make Me Count to Three and Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart…among some others. I also enjoyed Jerry Bridges’ Respectable Sins for my own heart and to make sure I was aware of the plank in my own eye as I was trying to teach my children. This one, of course, is still a very good book for me!

I think it is fair to say I am ready for the summer. A change in the schedule will be a welcomed breath of fresh air! Generally, we do bible study in the mornings before I take the young ones to school so a summer schedule will require me to find a new time for bible study. We cannot very well miss it the entire summer. We could probably move it to afternoon time around lunch. We will, of course, continue church each weekend and the kids have their youth group mid-week. Their sports schedules will change, however. Technically, they do year round sports however a small break here and there in the summer is probably not a bad thing.

30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (Matthew 12:30. ESV.)

I do not wish for my children to scatter. I desire them to stay close to our Lord and trust in Him with their lives. While studying Sociology of the Family in America, it was reiterated that our spiritual health is, in fact, very important! In the current chapter, regarding stress and family crisis, “spiritual values” are addressed.
‘Spirituality, however the family defines it, can be a strong comfort during crises’ (Thomason 2005, p. F11). Some authors have argued that strong religious faith is related to high family cohesiveness (Lepper 2009) and helps people manage demands or crises, partly because it provides a positive way of looking at suffering (Wiley, Warren, and Montanelli 2002). (Lamanna, M.A. & Riedmann, A. (2012, 2009). Marriages, Families, and Relationships: Making
Choices in a Diverse Society 11e. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.)
Spiritual health is further addressed throughout the book including research and statistics in favor and support of it.

9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:9-13. ESV.)

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