If you want to walk with Jesus you must walk on a narrow path. It’s a rewarding path that isn’t always easy but necessary if we want to conform to the ways of Christ and not the ways of the world. With the school year nipping at our heels, most of us are busy school shopping for clothes and supplies to prepare our kids for the upcoming school year. You may want to take some time out of your busy back to school schedule and talk to your kids about peer pressure and other issues they may encounter that will tempt them to confirm to standards that don’t meet the values of your family. I was surprised to witness how early children start forming cliques and are enticed by the behavior of their peers. It is important that we instill in our children at a very young age not to be a follower, but to do what they know is right and what Jesus would want them to do.
Conformity is a big problem especially when you are raising your children in a Christian household. There may be certain things that your child isn’t allowed to do that their peers are. This can put your children in a very delicate situation where they have to make a decision that may isolate them. Parents should try to make every effort to teach their children that not conforming is cool and is what God wants them to do. Here are a few suggestions on how to inspire your child to walk on the right path.
Be Clear on Family Expectations
I ‘m not implying you should become a drill sergeant. However, your children should have a clear understanding of your expectations, your values, and your household rules. If her friends have a curfew of 9:00 and her curfew is earlier, make sure she understands that is your rule and your expectation is she follows the rules, if not there are consequences. If your kids don’t develop a clear picture of what is and is not acceptable it will be easy for them to waver. Take some time before the school year starts to discuss your expectations for curfews, grades, homework, and anything else that arises.
The Importance of Resisting Temptation
For parents whose kids are in the tweens and teens the temptations they face are unbelievable! Drugs, drinking, smoking, sex, etc. are all serious and prevalent issues they’ll encounter regardless of the private or religious school they attend, this is a sad realistic fact. When you find it appropriate have an open and honest dialogue with your children. Don’t just tell them, “don’t do this, don’t do that,” explain to them why they shouldn’t drink or have premarital sex. When you do have these discussions don’t neglect to tell them what the bible says about these temptations and why they shouldn’t fall into these worldly traps along with explaining the repercussions.
Don’t Allow School Activities to Be Their Only Activities
Schools have a variety of different enrichment activities and it is great when our children are active, but don’t forget about enriching spiritual activities either. Throughout the school year keep your children active in Sunday school and church youth groups. This is significant to your child’s spiritual growth. Church is a wonderful way for your children to connect with others that share the same values and belief system. It is also an important outlet for them. They may not always feel comfortable approaching you, but they may feel at ease asking advice from a fellow youth group friend, chances are they face the same dilemmas.
There is nothing like the power of prayer. Every day before I drop my daughter off at preschool we thank God for the day and say a prayer for her well being. I continue to pray during the day for her. Praying with our children before school is like giving them a good breakfast. They need that spiritual nourishment to get them off to a good start. During your family prayer in the morning ask God to keep them away from temptation and to give them wisdom to not conform to the ways of the world. Remember to encourage them to pray about their decisions and to be obedient to the Lord’s word.
We aren’t sitting in the classroom next to them, but we can arm them with the word of God, the power of prayer, and communicate clearly with them about our values and beliefs. As parents it is our job to encourage them through the wisdom of the Bible. It is also our job to say no and not give into the pressures of society. One of the best gifts we can give our children is the encouragement to be unique and be a follower of God and not a clique or some passing fancy. We have to continue to build a strong foundation and inspire them to walk the narrow path even when everyone seems to be skipping down the wide yellow brick road.
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