Just because children feel loved, it doesn’t necessarily mean they feel valuable. Being loved is part of it, but there’s so much more parents can be doing on an ongoing basis. Get practical insights so that your children grow up feeling important and valuable with a vision towards helping others. Suicide rates are skyrocketing among teenagers today. Tune in today to get four tips on helping your children feel valuable.
Main Points From This Episode:
- We must combat the culture of today that says humans aren’t valuable.
- The fact that suicide rates are skyrocketing among teenagers should be a warning to parents.
- All children need a vision for their life, even when young.
- Make sure your children feel known by you
- Make sure your children feel needed in your family
- Make sure your children know they are wanted
- Help your children understand the biblical truth about how special they are to God.
- Help your children understand their most important purpose is to make God known to others.
Scriptures From This Episode:
Matthew 6:33 – “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Matthew 22: 35-40 – “And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””
Matthew 28:16-20 – “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
Psalm 139:13-16 – “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.’
Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
1 Corinthians 12:12-23 – “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,”
Matthew 18:3 – “and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
John 3:16 – ““For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
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Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.
Welcome to Courageous Parenting Podcast, a weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.
Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom and I’m.
Isaac from Resolute Man.
We’ve been married for 21 years and have seen the fruit from raising our eight kids Biblically. Based on the raw truth found in the Bible.
We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from their faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in the following. Hey, welcome to the podcast. Hey, guys. So glad you’re here today. We’re talking about children need to feel valuable. This is incredibly important.
It’s also incredibly, very countercultural. Sure, If we think about just the world, just think about it for a second. That that word valuable to value a child, children needing to feel valuable. It’s true. Every human being has this innate desire to feel valued, right, to feel of worth. And I’m sure that you guys would agree with everything that’s been going on within society. Well, indefinitely. It’s been a forever issue. The value of life has just eroded, right? There’s been I’ve seen it through my life that there’s been erosion as far as like really valuing human life, even starting with infancy and childhood. I remember a day when people saw babies and they were like, ooh, on and on and oh, what a blessing. That’s so exciting. And now there it’s almost like people sometimes, even depending on their circles, are scared to share that they’re pregnant just because of the reaction they might get from certain family members. And that’s just sad to me that there’s that much division in people’s lives.
Especially if you already have 2 or 3 kids, you know, that can even cause more hesitancy because now you’re a large family and these kinds of things, and this really goes beyond feeling loved. I think everybody listening, the audience that listens to great parenting, are intentional parents, parents trying to be more intentional with biblical truth and the way they raise their kids and are loving parents. And so but really, children need to feel valuable beyond the love. Love is a part of it. We’ll talk about that. But this is much more than that. It takes a proactive parenting effort to consistently make sure children actually feel valuable. And as they grow older, I would say beyond one years old, that becomes ever more important.
Oh, yeah. I mean, you were just sharing with me about the statistics that are happening out there. Why don’t you share those with with everyone listening? Yeah, I don’t.
Have them exactly in my head, but there are some recent statistics that came out about teen suicide and depression and just the percentages that how it’s increasing. It’s a dramatic increase because don’t have the exact numbers in my head but just know it is like infinitely higher than just a year ago or two years ago and especially among females males too. But it’s double the increase as far as looked at with females.
Well, I’d imagine that there are a lot of contributing factors, especially since you mentioned that it’s increased a lot in the last couple of years. I just even think about the culture and society and the pressures that are out there, whether that being gender confusion and identity issues or struggles even. Maybe they don’t have an issue, but they’re struggling, right. To find their worth and their value to be confident in who God made them to be. And as parents that are navigating this generation, raising kids in this generation, it’s I’m just going to say it. It’s not the same as when we were being raised. Now I get that a lot of you that are listening, you might even be a decade or two decades younger than Isaac and I. And so even when you were being raised, it’s different today. And I would say that technology is probably one of the main factors in how different it is today, because technology has completely changed the game of raising kids, hasn’t it? I just even think about the temptations that are there for addiction to things like pornography, being exposed to things they shouldn’t be being constantly listening to the wrong kinds of music, and then becoming addicted to cursing and swearing and creating habits in their life that really, let’s be honest, don’t make a kid feel good.
They don’t make any person feel good. And I say that because we need to recognize that there is power in words, right? The Bible says that life and death come from the tongue right? And so we need to be aware that what we’re listening to also affects our attitude, our heart condition, actually. And what we’re meditating on is a huge part of that. And so with technology out there and kids being exposed to all different kinds of things that maybe you’re not even super duper aware of, like Isaac was saying, I think that most courageous parents that have been listening for a while are very intentional. And so I’m sure that you guys are aware of what your kids are listening to, but it’s just one perspective, one point to how technology is affected these potential statistics, right?
So yeah, and the simple answer that’s true is identity in Christ, right? We all know that. But as children are coming up and they’re building, they’re they’re coming to know the Lord and they’re, you know, experiencing God for the first time and then onward and so forth. You know, it really takes parents showing them they’re valuable, too. It really takes parents showing them that they’re known. And needed and wanted. And so these are the things we’re going to be talking about that are so important. And so I think we should kick it off with our first point, which is about vision. However, I do want to say thank you for being part of the 10 million Legacies movement. Everything’s at be courageous ministry.org and all the show notes, free resources, all the courses, the coffee, the ways you can support the ministry and be edified at the same time. So we just really appreciate it and all those that give out there, we just are so thankful. There’s a lot of initiatives this year that we feel that God has called us to do a lot to do with writing and a Resolute Man podcast, which is for real. I know we’ve been talking about that, but it’s the real deal. It’s getting closer. So but it really does take finances to make it all work and make our family work too. Yeah.
So the first point that we wanted to talk to you guys about is kind of in relation to what Isaac was talking about with how things have changed so much in the last couple of years. And there’s a lot of children who are sad, who are struggling with depression, who are potentially even thinking about suicide. And I know that these this maybe you have kids that are a little bit younger. I cannot urge you enough to be listening to this, because I do believe that what we’re going to be talking about today could help prevent this from becoming your child. And if you have kids that are in this season right now, it’s going to help you in knowing how to help your child out of that potential depression and what they’re struggling with. This is a spiritual battle. And so obviously, the very first thing above all the points that we’re going to talk about is that you need to be praying for your kids. You need to be watchful. Yesterday I was reading in First Peter chapter four. It begins with saying the end is drawing near. Be serious and prayerful, watchfully, prayerful. This is an important thing for us to be aware of is that there’s a need for us to be watchful and praying for our kids and and praying right now that our kids never struggle with that. Right? Like, if you have little kids and you’re like, Oh, I can’t imagine my kids ever struggling with that, you better be praying because they’re in a fallen world just like all of us are. And there are temptations for being selfish or thinking too much about ourselves. And when we do that, we can become sad, right? And that self-focus is a real big issue. And so what kids really need is vision so that they don’t become self-focused.
Vision in terms of anticipation for things in their life that use aspects of how God made them to help them happen. Obviously surrender to the Lord relying on the Lord. Absolutely. But when do humans also feel productive? When they’re using their bodies, when they’re using their mind to create things, to contribute, to help others? It’s so.
Powerful. So, you know, for those of you who have younger kids, I just want to call out something that I think is a lie in the culture today. The culture tells parents, let kids be kids. And while there’s a certain truth to that, like I let my kids play, okay, they love to play. You’ll see the kids running around all over our property. They love to be creative and be in nature. I love that. But kids also thrive when they have responsibility and when they can contribute to a family, when there’s a need that they get to fill, that other people are not feeling. They feel valued, they feel needed. Right. And so there’s there’s we’re going to talk more about that in a minute. But the whole point is that you as a parent have to give vision along with opportunities so that the kids can get catch that vision. Right? You know, we’re.
About a quarter of the way through the year already. Can you believe that? That’s incredible. Yeah. Isn’t that right? Well, it’s March. Well, not quite. Not quite. But you think about this, one of the ways that you can instill vision and stir up vision in your children is having them set intentions for the year, which we did and we do on a yearly basis. And but, you know, at some point during the first quarter of the year, towards the end of it, it’s good to revisit those and remind your children what they’re trying to accomplish in all the different areas of their life this year. Spiritually projects financial, um, you know, all kinds of different areas, education, things they want to learn, things that they want to do, all kinds of things, right? So that’s a whole different podcast episode. You can listen to one of our first episodes on that, but that we’ve ever done. But I think that is so important. And if you haven’t done that, listen to that other episode.
It is true that recalibration throughout the year and just to stay motivated on the commitments that everybody’s made to themselves. So even like our seven year old has initiatives for this year, you guys who are listening probably wondering, you’re probably thinking, oh, they’re talking about their teenagers right now. No, I mean, we’re talking about all of the kids. Actually, even Eli, who was four, had some goals. Right. And so or initiatives. And we get to hold them accountable to those and those get to be areas that they can pursue growth in which is needed, right? Like there is a need for kids to have vision and inspiration to grow and to learn. I even think there are multiple scriptures that talk about spiritual milk versus spiritual meat and understanding like we need to teach our kids this word, actually. That there is a difference between spiritual and spiritual maturity and that there’s a growth process and that for them, their purpose right now is to be growing, to be learning. That is actually part of the purpose of the season of life that they’re in. I remember I went on this awesome mother daughter retreat with our oldest many years ago. I think it was probably like ten. Well, it was ten, 11 years ago now. And during that time they had us do some kind of assessment. And then we went on a date, just the two of us talking about that and and talking about vision and what was her purpose in life. And one of the things I kept saying is, we don’t know what you’re going to do in the future and that’s okay.
But we do know that right now this is the season where you prepare for all the things that God’s laid a desire on your heart and the things that you need to know just to function in society and be a good citizen. And then he will make it known in the future. But your job right now is not to worry about the future, but to prepare, like to learn to grow. That’s part of your purpose right now. And so that aspect, like just think about that for a second. How many kids, if you were to ask any young kid, five years old, six years old, seven years old, ten years old, 13 years old, you say, what is your purpose in life? Most of them would probably draw a blank. Most of those kids would probably not have the faintest idea what to say. And honestly, if you ask my kids, they might go, Oh, what are you talking about too? But we try to instill and try to have these conversations with them as much as we can where we’re like, Hey, thanks for contributing and and we give them vision and we talk about what their gifts are, what their spiritual gifts are, and they know that they are valued, that they’re needed, that they’re wanted, that they have all these things like we were talking about. And so like, as you’re going through this process of giving vision, helping your kids to see that their life doesn’t begin when they get a job, their life doesn’t begin when they get married. Their life doesn’t begin when they have kids they need they’re living now.
And they need to feel useful now. They need to feel like they’re contributing to the needs of others beyond just themselves. It’s so important. Where does this entitlement attitude come from? A lot of these generations, I think it’s a lack of parents really helping their kids from a young age have greater responsibility. We are constantly made aware of how much more capable our kids are than we realize at a young age. It’s just incredible how capable they are. So Jeremiah, 2911, says, For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope that is so awesome that God promises to give us a future and a hope that Scripture right there tuck that one away. Jeremiah 2911 So set it again in case you’re driving or something, but tuck that away and have that ready. Maybe have a short list of scriptures that help your children feel valuable by the truth of what God says.
I even think when when we think of that verse, we think of how powerful is to be walking in the truth that we know God put us in the generation. He put us in for his glory, for his purposes. And so when your kids are little, to be raising them up, going, God chose you to be a part of this generation right now. I think we shared with you guys in one of our previous podcasts that when we had Zander. Zander is our youngest. For those of you who are listening, we have nine kids. Our oldest is 22, our youngest is 20 months and Zander is our youngest. And when he was born and we were picking a name for him, we thought, What is the world going to need in 2039 when he’s potentially launching from our home? And that really gave us insight. Like we named him Defender of mankind, brave protector, you know, and because that’s what Zander means. And I think that a lot of us need to have that perspective right from the beginning, right from the time we’re pregnant, that God has chosen our child to be a part of this generation.
There’s nothing to fear, and we need to have that kind of confidence so that our children are not scared. Growing up in this crazy, weird world. Because I think that a lot of us, especially in Western cultures, especially where we’ve experienced a lot of privilege, can I just say it’s been safe to be a Christian? Other countries didn’t have the same privilege of being able to share their faith without having to be worried about being killed. Okay. And so the truth is, is that there’s been a certain amount of privilege and easiness, if I will, to the American life or to Western culture. And I don’t know if that’s going to necessarily continue being the case. I feel like Christianity especially has been under massive attack in the last few years and it’s just going to continue to grow. We know this from what Scripture says. And so when we’re raising our kids to be confident from the time that they are born, we have to have a confidence if they’re ever going to have a confidence.
They have to see our walk with God and our trust in God and our confidence in God and the confidence in our futures. For them to have an example of that. It’s so important. So if your kids.
Are ever like in a if you get into a conversation with them, I just love the age like eight, nine, ten, especially, and 11, 12 right before they’re teenagers where they’re in that in between little timid and and big kid teenager stage. But that can be sometimes the most confusing stage of all, especially if kids have older siblings.
I would say slow down parents. If you have kids in that age, you need to be so much more intentional one on one time. Really making sure that these things we’re talking about are happening with them.
Yeah. And I think that for those kids especially, they really are looking for purpose. They want to bring value. They want to feel big like their older siblings. Right. But they also like have this desire to still play, which is really sweet. And they they can really open your eyes to things that you miss and overlook about God and everywhere, every day. And it’s really beautiful. But for them, for their purpose in life, especially me and I would say this to anyone of any age, but I just especially think of them as to go, Hey, not only are you learning and getting prepared for your next season, which is when you’re a teenager, right? And then then in that season, they’re preparing for when they’re a young adult. Right? You see how this is like the next season. You’re always in this season of learning and preparing. I would say that is part of my purpose in life. I’m in this season where I have a lot of children, but I also have my first grandbaby, and so I’m learning what it means to be a grandma.
Isaac’s learning what it means to be a grandpa, and if we have this perspective of always learning that and we’re teaching that to our kids and we’re modeling that to them, then it’s a much easier thing for them to understand. Like I always have a purpose, and part of my purpose is to be learning to be used by God in the season that he has me. But part of that learning like, what if a kid was to ask you, Well, what do I learn? I even think of Matthew 633 it says, But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So even though they may not know what what they want to go to, well, we’re not big advocates of college, but what they’re going to learn to provide for their family when they’re older. Right. I would just point my young adults or teenagers to this scripture and say seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.
I would say to adults, if you’re in a period of transition, if you’re thinking about some other way to provide for your family, I think it’s really good to also be preparing without always knowing for sure what the next step is. I remember a season in my life where I knew I was going to move on from a very successful thing I was doing, but I knew God wanted something else for me, and I just remember preparing and not knowing what the future would hold. And that was so important. I think sometimes we need to be comfortable not knowing everything and taking proactive action without knowing the destination.
I remember that year you had like a goal of reading like 50 books or more than 50 books, and people were like, Oh, well, what are you learning for? And you would just tell people, I’m just preparing. I don’t know what for. I’m just preparing.
Yeah. So, you know, it’s a key time to do that. And we want children to have that attitude too. Otherwise they get frustrated because they don’t know what the thing is in the future and then it stifles them. Now know they need to have a vision that’s that’s accurate. Which means you don’t know everything. That’s right. God knows everything. But if we’re faithful and we’re trusting the Lord and we’re surrendering it to the Lord and he’s giving us desires and things to do and responsibilities, even if they don’t fit our desires. But there are things we need to get done, and we do those well. We steward the things in front of us well with a leaning towards the future with anticipation, excitement and hope and trusting the Lord. That’s what we want, isn’t it? And that kind of person’s not going to fall. It’s not going to be as likely to fall into depression or.
Right. Because they’re going to have a sense of purpose and great greatness, right? Like that. God’s given them this task, this job, this honor, this privilege to partner with him in some really cool tasks. And I think that, you know, we just read from Matthew 633 seek first the kingdom and his righteousness. But what and I guess in just reading that verse, I’m assuming that you guys all know what it means to seek the kingdom and what it means to seek righteousness. And but our kids don’t know those big words, so we have to explain those things to them. What does it mean to seek the kingdom? It means that you’re going to be reading the word like Isaac was saying, like if you’re growing in the knowledge of truth, you’re not just going to have it. You need to seek wisdom by going to the Word of God, by having deep conversations with your parents. And you as a parent actually have to tell your kids that’s how they do it. We have to teach our kids, like if you want to grow in wisdom, you have to read the Bible.
It’s so easy to believe wrong if we’re not reading the word and if we’re not, our kids probably aren’t either. And so it’s so important. I just I look back, I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already. Is the date night one sheet. It is a. Beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date night. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family. No matter what time of year, it’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to courageous Parenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything at Courageous Parenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the Parenting Mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more at Courageous Parenting.com.
Steve, I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children, but Angie.
And Isaac have done in creating this is literally phenomenal.
This program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications.
This class has just really rocked my world.
It has given me the vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of the heart.
We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. We have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.
It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in Scripture this is.
Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it.
One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year, and I could not recommend it more.
We’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation.
In the time was a believer from 23 to today and from the very small amount of knowledge in the Bible to a progression over time to today. And I can think back and go, Wow, I really was a believer. I understood the gospel, but I didn’t really understand the full attributes of God, the way the Bible explains it, because I only knew some scriptures. I wasn’t versed in the Bible. And I just think the more we become versed in the Bible, the more we read it, the more we truly understand our Father in heaven and truly understand how valuable we are to him. Yes. And that is just so important. Like we could stop the episode now and if we just focused on that, that is so, so important. But there are more things you can do.
And but I want to just say to you, too, though, that what Isaac’s talking about is this purposeful desire to grow in spiritual maturity. His salvation was the same when he was 23 as it is today. Like the amount of knowledge that you have doesn’t change your salvation, right? He knew the gospel like he was saying. And that and I say that because I don’t want you to come back to your kids or for you as a parent. Maybe you’re just a new believer as well. And to feel like, Oh, I have so much work to do, how can I possibly catch up? No, it’s not about that. It’s not about how much you know, but it’s about enjoying the process of growing in those seasons and pursuing spiritual maturity. And we need to be doing that as parents. But we also need to take our kids alongside us. Like it says in Deuteronomy six. When we sit, when we stand, when we lie, when we walk so that they can see how to do that right? Like seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. What is his righteousness? What does the Bible say? Our righteous deeds? What does the Bible say is unrighteous? Do the opposite, right? Like that is a whole study alone that you could spend a whole year or two years. I mean, you’re going to spend years just training your children and the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness, and that’s a beautiful thing like that will grow spiritual maturity in them.
I think we should move on to point two. So it’s important that our kids feel known and most importantly, they need to feel known by their parents. It is so important of any of the other relationships on Earth that that is so important that they really feel like you know them. And as they get older, that becomes more and more important. But it’s not like one day you get to know them. We got to be purposely making them feel known at all times. And that’s not just what we know about them, because as parents, we kind of feel like we know everything about them. It’s that they feel known that I think there’s a big difference right there. Someone feeling known and you knowing all about them. We can go somewhere and people can feel like they know all about us because they listen to every podcast episode. That’s right. Yeah. And so but we don’t know.
But it doesn’t mean.
And it doesn’t mean because they know a lot about us. Not everything, but a lot about us. It doesn’t mean we feel known when we first meet them. See what I mean? It’s the same kind of thing. We have to get to know our kids on a constantly constant basis. Great leaders know what’s in the minds and hearts of their people. Someone once said, Parents need to know what’s in the minds and hearts of their. Children. And that’s something that’s a changing target.
Yeah, I mean, I think all humans have that innate desire to be known. It’s something that God put in us because we’re made in God’s image. And he also wants to be known by us, right? Like oftentimes we put the put it this way, right? You study catechism and what is your purpose in life? To know God and make him known. And so obviously there’s this element that is reflective upon what God’s desire is for relationship with us. And for us. To know Him comes from reading the word. And he gives us such a perfect example. In Psalm 139, here it is.
13 through 16 for you formed my inward parts united me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works. My soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance in your book were written every one of them. The days that were formed for me when I was. Yet there was none of them. So that is so incredible how precious each person is. Every single person was created on purpose for important things to do in this world and to spend eternity with God doing more wonderful things with everybody in heaven and with God. And so I think that it’s important that we remind our children consistently of how valuable, how how known that they are to God.
That’s right. And I think, too, you know, a lot of times we’ve talked about that image bearer, how God is our example for us as a heavenly Father of how we as parents are supposed to strive to be like him as a parent. Right? And so when you read a verse like Psalm 139 that talks about how God knows the depths in ways that even a parent doesn’t fully know their child, even even a mom who’s carrying her child didn’t know that child before they were born like God did. Right? And so look at how much more the Father in heaven knows our children more than we do because he knows the thoughts and minds of men and the hearts of men. And we as human beings, we can’t fully know the hearts and minds of our children. We can kind of know as we know them, but we don’t actually know what they’re thinking. Let’s just be honest. We’re not telepathic in that way. But God is right because he is omnipotent, omniscient, and it’s there’s this element there of awe for us as parents, but also example going, Wow, I need to pursue my child to get to know them. And part of that is out of a motivation of wanting to be a father, a mother like how God is a father to us in that.
So here’s some practical is ask questions. It’s important to spend one on one time with your children and ask them questions. And a lot of times the first time you ask a question, just like anybody, it’s a surface level question potentially. And so you’re going to get a surface level answer How was your day when someone asks you that, what do you say? It was fine, but if if it wasn’t a surface level question, that person will likely go well. No, really, what’s what’s been going on today? What is your day about or how has your week been going? You know, and they dig in a little deeper. And then what does that entail? Tell the other person. Oh, they actually weren’t just doing a nicety. They actually want to know. And so you have to ask 2 or 3 questions deep, asking the same question, but you know, a little deeper each time in an inquisitive, caring, loving way, really wanting to know them, you know, and and what are the areas of life that they might not be talking to you about? What are the questions they have they might be scared to ask you? And so remember, you probably look like a super Christian to them. They are learning how to walk out their faith. They’re learning about God. They’re learning their faith.
Might be transitioning from from faith, like watching mom and dad to their own faith and taking ownership. But that can be like scary to some kids too.
So we have to give them space to ask questions to share even their unbelief, their their wrestlings with what they believe and the wrestlings with relationships in their life and situations and the wrestlings with, you know, their own value. And maybe they have some doubts about themselves that aren’t being spoken. People really feel known when someone spends enough time and enough of the right questions and and just listens.
And pursues them and pursues them. You know, it’s interesting because there’s another scripture that gives us an example of how God desires to have a relationship with us to where we are seeking him, right? We read a verse about how he knows us intimately, but Matthew chapter 2237 says, And he said to him, So the disciples were asking, What is the greatest commandment in the law? And he said to them, You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with all your soul, and with all your. Your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. And on these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets. And I just think two things. There’s two things about this scripture. First, this is a vision that we need to be giving our kids when they’re looking for what their purpose in life is to love the Lord, their God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength. Love their neighbor as yourself. Those are purposes in life that they need to pursue hands down. But also this is a vision of what relationship looks like. If you take Psalm 139 and you see how God knows a person and then you take Matthew 22 and you see how God, Jesus is saying Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength. That’s him desiring relationship back. A relationship is a two way street, and this is an important, crucial element that honestly, I don’t even think I was good at with my first four kids. I’m working on it now with with the ones that are still at home and the ones that are not in the home I’ve had really good conversations with, but this is a huge thing like to not just pursue your child, to know them, but also be willing to open up to where your child can know you.
Because real relationship is a two way street and they’ll feel more valued if they know you better, too. Actually, yes. And so there’s an element there where, you know, being known goes both ways. God knows us deeply. He also wants to be known deeply. And that’s an example for how our relationship with our kids should be. And can I say that if you have a healthy relationship with your child where you feel like you’re pursuing knowing who they are and they’re pursuing back and they’re asking you the same questions back, Right. And that might be a conversation you need to have. Hey, honey, I love getting to know you, but I also want to be in relationship with you. And you need to learn that. You need to ask questions back to people, too. And you need to teach kids that because it comes easy to some. But for other kids it doesn’t come easy, actually. And they literally need to be told this is how you pursue a relationship. It’s a two way street and if you do that right, then if they’re struggling with depression or sadness later in life, they’re more likely to come to you and to share the depth of what’s in their heart that you won’t necessarily know. You may see outward symptoms of something’s wrong, but they and God alone know what’s going on in their mind and their heart. And they have to be opening up to you. And the way that you build that kind of trust is by knowing them and letting them know you.
Amen. Our third point is they need to feel needed. So first was vision. Second, make sure they feel known. And the third is they need to feel needed. They children rise to the level of responsibility you give them within reason. Right? But it’s really important that we’re looking for ways for them to have something new to tackle that makes them feel needed. And that can be when can they start washing dishes? When can they start taking the garbage out? When can they start? When do they get to start cutting vegetables with a knife? When do they get a start, you know, actually picking up toys and and cleaning up? When do when do they start making their bed? At what age for you? You have to discern all these things. When do they get to start chopping wood? When do they get to start learning how to drive around the property and then actually driving? Right. And that’s a legal thing. But, you know, what are all these things? And how about, you know, helping you grocery shop? You know, how about helping make the grocery list? How about helping to cook? I mean, I’m just reeling off a bunch of things, but we could go on and on and on. Why? Because we have our children help us do all kinds of things. In fact, it was so cool. Angie was telling me the story of the other day. Solomon He just turned seven not too long ago and he was picking up these £25 bags of dirt and not just like picking them up and walking. He wouldn’t let.
Me do it, actually. It was really sweet. He did it all and he said, No, mom, I got it.
He got up on the step of the excursion and then, you know, stacked it on top of some other bags and just, you know, he put.
All that soil in the car himself. He was determined.
He’s determined because. And then I heard the story. I also saw it on Instagram. And then I get home and I go, Whoa, Solomon, you are so strong. Well, that helped out your mom so much. That is incredible. Good job. And he walked a little different that day.
Yeah, he did. He felt big and it was really cool because, you know, planting seeds is like a fun thing that the kids just absolutely love. I’m sure your kids do, too. But for him to be able to take on a whole new level just with mom and do things that he couldn’t do last year was a big step up. Right. And and and I think that that’s what’s important is that part of the vision I’m going to swing back up for a second to go back down into being needed. Part of the vision that we need to give our kids is that they are needed. That is so crucial because God did put innately in every human being this desire to be needed and He did create us for good works. He created us with purposes for our generation. For now. He even just think about like how we contribute within the body of Christ and within family is an image bearer of that.
You know, in the old days it would be and maybe this is still the case for some some families for sure. But in the old days, you’d put them in school and they would feel needed by getting on teams and doing debate, maybe. Or maybe they join a sports team or they do these different things. But over time, what we’ve seen happen, in our opinion, is the corruption of peer influences has become so strong that it’s it’s not worth it, right? In a lot of cases for them to be part of these things. Unless you build them up first and you can insert them, We can disagree on some of that. But what there needs to be is parents. We can’t be delegating the feeling of being needed. Parents need to help their children feel needed and be a part of coach over here, not this youth pastor over here. Some people can be additive. I’m not being negative here. People can be additive out there. But most importantly, parents need to make their their children feel needed at home. And with the things the initiatives the family are doing. And that is so important. If you’re delegating those things out there, it might be backfiring.
Sometimes for certain kids, they really do feel needed because they’re excelling in an area. But sometimes kids are being ridiculed, ridiculed and bullied because they’re on that team and they definitely don’t feel needed. And in fact, the opposite is happening. So we really have to manage the external things. I’m not saying don’t do some external things, but be careful. But most importantly, what we know is happening in our homes, they need to feel needed on an ongoing basis every week, important things that they can do to contribute. And there’s always a progression of responsibility growing and what they can do and what they can do next over over time, I think that’s really important. Ephesians 210 says for We Are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. So God prepared beforehand for us to walk in good works, but we actually do need to walk in them. And when our children are younger, we need to help our children be able to walk in good works because we’re their protectors. We’re their counselors where their source of wisdom other than the Bible, right. It’s important.
Matthew, 18 three, says, Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And I share this with you along with this next verse. I have to read them together because I think that sometimes we underestimate the power of having a child in our midst, even within the body of Christ. This is a really important thing. One of the things that I’ve noticed, even just in doing home church where our kids are all participating and they’re all bringing a gift, some kids are leading worship. Sometimes a child will pray for someone who gives a prayer request. Sometimes a child has a prayer request or a praise report. Sometimes they make dessert that they bring for the fellowship time. Sometimes they help with sweeping up at the end or helping collect dishes for their mom as their mom’s helping clean up after fellowship. There are so many ways collecting worship, binders. There’s so many things that happen within our small little church body. Isaac and I was just thinking about how all those ways are ways that our kids get to feel like they’re contributing to the body of Christ. And I believe that Jesus smiles on that. I believe that he smiles because our kids are experiencing being a part of the church versus just going and not being able to participate, being a spectator.
And I think of that verse that I just read to you about becoming like a child and being humble and being willing to do those little service things. That is an important thing. There’s a value that we as adults need to have for our children. I think if we change and we start valuing children, this podcast is called Children Need to Feel Valuable. So if we as adults start valuing children and the things that they are able to do, even at their tiny level, then their view of themself changes and their view of children when they’re older will be different. That’s how we break a bondage that is a generational sin. Can I just say it’s a generational sin in the culture to not value children and to not value life. And then if we go to First Corinthians Chapter 12, I’m not going to read all of this, but verse one through 12 talks about the different gifts and how there’s various of gifts, but the same spirit. There are varieties of service, but the same Lord. There are varieties of activities, but it’s the same God who empowers them all in every one to each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good. And those are verses four through six. And I just think about how important it is that we teach our kids. You don’t have to be like so-and-so. You can be you. What you have is needed.
That is so important because there’s plenty of other people. God made them all for unique ways and different things, and we want our children not to strive to just be like other people. We want our children to strive to be how God made them. To walk in the shoes they’ve been given and to embrace it and to appreciate what God created in themselves and to use it for good works.
And then if you just go down the path that I actually wanted to share with you guys in verse 14, it says, For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body, that would not make it any less part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members of the body, each one of them as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts yet one body. This passage, this whole chapter in verse 12, you have to go read it with your children because this is part of giving them vision for the fact that they’re not only needed within their family, but they’re needed within the family of God, that there is a great spiritual purpose for them today, tomorrow, and 20 years from now, that their purpose of being a part of the body of Christ doesn’t begin once they’ve got their seminary degree.
That would be a lie. That’s what this scripture is literally telling us, that there’s an importance in the eye, the ear, the nose, literally every part of the body. And we need to teach our kids that the gifts that God has given them, the talents, the desires, all that their compassion that they have. And then if we think back to verse three in chapter 18 of Matthew, truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like one of these children, you’ll never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. How many times do I look at a kid and I go, They are so quick to forgive. I’m humbled by that. I struggle with holding grudges more than my children do because they’re so quick to forgive. That kind of humility is what we’re all called to do and see how it’s a child’s ability to forgive immediately and say sorry is what convicts the adult to actually be more like that.
Unfortunately, today there is. I mean, in the old days, there was captains of ships at age 16 and 17. I mean, maybe not everywhere, but there were instances of that. There was children, young adults, you know, very young ages doing things that 30 or 40 year olds, you know, tend to be more likely to do today. And unfortunately, today, children have access to adult things that are terrible, right at a young age and but not given very much responsibility. So two bad things in combination, which is low responsibility, low feeling of value and worth and needed and being wanted or known. In this busy world, parents are so busy and they don’t even train and then they’re exposed to a level of darkness through technology, through peer relationships, through influences out there walking in the world that are terrible. So you add those two things and then they became a believer, let’s say. And now they’re dealing with guilt because they’re exposed to all this. They’re not feeling useful and they start questioning their faith and these challenges happen. So it is so important. Well, hey, it is really important. Our final tip is that your children feel wanted. And in John 316, as you know, it says for God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. What a powerful, loving message to God’s people.
It’s amazing. I mean, the fact that God would send his only Son to die for the forgiveness of the sins of the whole world. That is humbling. And that is actually a beautiful picture to our children of how much God loves us, that he was willing to die on the cross for us. That’s how much he wants a relationship with your child. Does your child know that that God wants to know them that bad, that he was willing to die for them? That’s crazy. Like if our kids actually get that, that’s how much God loves them and that they’re wanted and that and then to take it a step further and and again, to bring it back to that purpose and part of what your kids purpose is when they understand the gospel, when they understand that God loves them and that God wanted them and they choose to want God back. And they have this two way road relationship where they’re being known by God and they know God. Guess what they get to do next? They get to do the great Commission in Matthew 28, 16 through 20. It’s so powerful. God exhorts us to be living with this kind of purpose. And your kid can do this at any age. Can I just say that he can do it at any age? She can share the gospel at any age. Says all authority in heaven on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations baptizing them. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always to the end of age. The Great Commission is another purpose that we all collectively have as Christians. And so if your kids are thinking that there’s no purpose for them in life, we just went over some huge ones, that they have a purpose to know God. Make him known to share it with other people. They have a purpose to love the Lord, their God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and be in relationship with him.
And he’s a good God that wants his children to enjoy using the skills and the gifts that they have. And for his glory.
Yes. And this is huge. So once they understand that love. Then they can turn around and share that gift, that free gift, that knowledge of that free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ with other people. And so it doesn’t just stop at feeling fulfilled and, oh, I feel wanted. Oh, I feel needed. Oh, I feel known. That would be if we were raising our kids where we were purposing to for them to feel known, wanted, loved and feel like they have a purpose in life. And we did not somehow swing it all back around to how they then can do good works for the glory of God, that they can be a part of this partnering with Christ in the Great Commission and other people also knowing the truths that they’ve been told that can give them freedom and life. Also, if we don’t do that part, then these kids, they grow up thinking it’s all about them, that the world’s all about them being wanted, needed and known. And it’s not. As parents, we need to pursue to do those things for our kids. It’s part of the first part of the process. And then after they know that we have got to continue the vision onto okay, now how do you bless other people? How do you love your neighbor as yourself? You tell them you pursue knowing them.
You tell them how God knows them. You teach them about relationship. You tell them that they’re needed. You help them get plugged into the body of Christ and start contributing. And then you tell them all about how they are wanted and teach them how to go Tell other people. Do you see how this continues on and on and on through generations? This is what’s been missing. This is literally what’s been missing. Children need to be feeling valuable, but it starts with parents valuing their children in the ways that God values us and then teaching our children how to turn it around and do it again. Thanks for joining us today. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to Courageous Parenting and courageous romcom for free online workshops, blog posts, and bestselling courses. Also, we wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program. Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.
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