Somewhere in our parenting journey, we all begin to wonder how we can raise children with a healthy conscience. Children who are confident in their God given abilities and who are perhaps not squeezed into the mold by the world. Children who are not afraid of standing by their convictions. Children who care less about peer pressure, and more about eternity. By now you are either thinking; “yes, I want to know how,” or you are dismissing these as fancies of an “unseasoned” parent. Granted it is not in our power to redeem them or change them. Still human nature is highly suggestable and moldable. Parents, as stewards, and influencers, we have it in us to model, and train them in the ways of the Lord.
In either case, I invite you to the LEAST you can do to help your children gain insights into becoming confident, God loving children with a healthy conscience.
L – Love : Teach them God’s love is better than life. Psalm 63:3. Model to them that you as a parent is completely satisfied by this love, and life cannot offer any more, and take away and make your joy any less. I am talking about living a radical joyful life. One that is not shakeable amidst painful trials because even there, you can experience God’s love.
E – Experience Jesus in everything. Children know about a Jesus who lives far, far, away in the heavens. Parents, we can make Jesus, and His kingdom come alive for our children in our daily activities. Pray for their concerns and help them see Jesus answering their prayers. Help them experience miracles unfolding in front of their eyes. Make their hope a living hope (1 Peter 1). Look well into their heart and discern how they can experience Jesus this particular moment.
A – Attributes- Teach them the Attributes of God. If anything is going to speak to them in their greatest affliction, at a time when even their conscience blames them, it is the knowledge of a big God. I’m a big believer in teaching them the attributes of God. Yes, even the one that says God is self sufficient and He does not need you. Ouch! What an antidote to their thinking of a world that revolves around them. Of course let it be balanced with the attributes of His unconditional love, and His election of them. When their conscience blames them, they will know God is bigger than their hearts 1 John 3:20.
S – Seasons – Let them know that life comes to us in seasons or chapters. Do not be surprised with certain seasons that look different. Life is not always about success, and achievements, and an A grade. Help them discern what season they are in, and what chapters lies ahead. One major confusion that shakes children is not knowing what to expect, confusion that makes them think they are failures forever. There is a season to be a seed, a season to be planted (hard work, go under, give up some dreams), there is a season to produce fruits, enjoy the labor (victory, success), season to become a seed for the next chapter. There wil be failures in some seasons. Help them navigate that with patience, grace, and some form of normalcy.
T– Trials : Children rarely are coached in how to handle trials. They see us parents handling our trials with bitterness and perhaps turning to addictions. Parents, trials are a time to model faithfulness to God. Even when it is that last thing we want to do, let our children see us thanking God for a painful wound. The way we handle a trial, being a victim or a victor, goes a long way in shaping their mentality towards trials.
So parents, this is the LEAST you can do to raise children who grow up with a healthy conscience before God.