Our Spiritual Growth Plants Seeds in Our Children


Lisa Pulliam explains that we need a plan for how to invest in our relationship with God and grow in faith. As parents, our own growth, or lack thereof, will deeply affect our children.

If you asked me 20 years ago what my thoughts were on “spiritual formation and spiritual growth,” I would have said “Huh? What do you mean?” At the time I wasn’t a Christ-follower nor in tune with the concept that spiritual growth is a process — one that is cultivated over time and pursued on purpose.

Looking back, of course, I can see that I was in desperate need of spiritual formation, not only for myself but so that I could set a Biblical foundation for my children. It wasn’t until our first child was born that I began to realize that I not only needed a plan for how to invest in my relationship with God and grow in my faith, but that my own growth, or lack there of, would deeply affect my children.

How could I teach them to pray, if I didn’t feel comfortable doing so on my own?

How could I guide them in truth, if I wasn’t sure what the difference was between truth and tradition?

How could I express the beauty of grace, if I hadn’t embraced it myself?

I was a babe in the faith while raising my own babes, and felt unqualified to be a spiritual influence on my children. Yet there was this conviction within me, pushing me to learn how to grow spiritually so that I could parent from the overflow of God’s grace and truth.

The Lord used my search for wisdom on parenting to propel my spiritual growth at an accelerated pace.

Within the pages of Ted Tripp’s book, “Shepherding a Child’s Heart,” which could have been subtitled, “Cultivating a Momma’s Spiritual Formation,” I discovered how to look at life with a type of spiritual eye-sight. It wasn’t only about training their hearts as a mom— it was about living for the Lord and overflowing that onto my children.

Building upon the foundation established by Tripp’s wisdom, the next growth step in my spiritual formation was in responding to the challenge given by a friend to spend time with the Lord daily and dig into Scripture for both heart and head knowledge.

The habit of a quiet time combined with going to a weekly Bible study at church (and doing the homework), enabled me to mature in my faith at a fast enough pace to stay inches ahead of my children. With each small investment of time, however, God has multiplied a trillion times my personal spiritual growth, equipping me for the situations and seasons in which I needed to guide my ever-growing children in their own spiritual formation.

The thing about spiritual formation is that is not about how much we know or how quickly we learn.

It’s about opening our hearts to the Lord and giving Him our attention, so that He can teach us what we need to know and then reveal to us the ways He is calling us to grow in His timing and for His purpose.

God is the One who forms our faith and develops within us a mind bent towards truth. He is the One that equips us with knowledge and wisdom to pour into our children, using us as a conduit of their spiritual growth.

So no matter where you are in your spiritual journey . . . no matter how immature you may feel . . . or no matter how tempted you may be to be puffed up with pride over how far you’ve come . . . today is the day to give to God your spiritual growth and the impact it has on the next generation.

This is the moment to say, “Thank you God for growing my faith, for filling me with your Spirit, and for revealing to me the Truth by which you want me to live. Lord grow me more. Fill me more. Show me more. That I may be a key influence in the spiritual formation of my children.”

Will you begin the next step in your spiritual formation journey by giving God 15 minutes of your time today? If you don’t know how to spend time alone with God, may I encourage you to consider using the ever-so-simple Overflow Bible Study Method?

It will guide you in grace and invite you to dig into God’s truth so that you can pour out what you learn on your children.


Written by Lisa Pulliam

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