Seven Ways to Develop Hope in Your Child
The evening news is filled with loss, grief, disappointment and disaster. Children are forced to deal with issues in their world on a daily basis that twenty years ago didn’t exist. Our world today wrestles with what it means to experience hope.
As Christians, we have the hope given to us by Christ Jesus and can live each day by placing our hope in Him. Many followers of Christ know the end of the story, but still live in hopelessness and, sadly, raise their children with that same hopelessness.
Intentional Living is about recognizing our need to live today the way we are intended to become in Christ tomorrow. As parents that means demonstrating that lifestyle and living it out in front of our children. That raises the question, “What were we intended to become as followers of Christ?” The place to start is with our relationship with God. We were intended to experience the hope we’ve been given in Christ—hope for eternal salvation—hope in the promises God made to you as an heir of salvation found in the Bible. If you’re not experiencing hope in your life today, then I would challenge you to ask yourself, “How intentional am I in my faith?”
Take some time with that question. It may really surprise you. Look at your head (thoughts), heart (feelings) and hands (actions) when it comes to your faith.
- Is your thinking in alignment with the things God says in His Word about you—His child?
- Are your emotions in check when it comes to your relationship with God and those He has placed in your life?
- Do you choose actions that bring pleasure to Christ as you go throughout your day?
When you bring your head, heart and hands into balance by thinking and behaving like Christ, you will find the hope and assurance that you need to begin your journey toward becoming all God destined you to be, and in turn provide that same hope to your children as you parent them.
Here are seven ONE THINGS you can do to help your child grow in their relationship with God, keeping in mind his or her unique personality. Check off each one you are willing to do. Choose the most important “one thing” to practice starting today. Once you become consistent in that, do the next right “one thing” on the list.
- Tell my child how important my own relationship to God is.
- Take my child to church.
- Show my child the effects of having a relationship with God in my own life.
- Make sure my child meets other godly people who are genuine, interesting and impressive.
- Choose a church that truly understands how important children are to God. As my child becomes a teenager, I will ensure that adolescents receive proper discipleship opportunities.
- Demonstrate godliness to my child, beginning with keeping my promises.
- Show my child the unconditional love that God gives me.