Developing a child’s character is no easy undertaking in today’s world. No matter what stage or season our children are in, at times the responsibility of guiding them can feel like both a great honor and a heavy burden.
As a parent you may find yourself wondering, “How can I create opportunities for my children to grow in their faith and strengthen their God-given identities at the same time?”
Sunday School and family devotions are excellent options, but what your children need more than anything is to connect with the Lord by interacting with Scripture and making meaningful application of His Word to their own lives and circumstances.
If you want your sons and daughters to grow, surround them with the stories of men and women whose faith and obedience moved the eternal narrative forward: heroes who embody the integrity you want to instill in them.
You don’t have to look far and wide to find them. Here are five verses to pair with five courageous and inspirational women of the Bible that will help you unlock these admirable qualities in your kids.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).
Hannah was treated harshly by Peninnah, and it would have been very easy for her to shut down, become angry, or try to handle the problem herself. Instead, she brought her feelings to God in prayer and told Him the truth from inside her own heart.
No matter what situation your child finds himself in, prayer is always a wise choice. Regardless of the emotions your child is experiencing, positive or negative, encourage Him to lay his thoughts and cares before the Lord. He draws near to those who long to be close to Him.
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).
After Esther became the queen of Persia, her cousin Mordecai got into some trouble by refusing to bow to Haman, the king’s second in command. Haman became very angry and came up with a plan to destroy all of God’s people. When her people were threatened, Esther faced a difficult choice. It would have been very easy for her to hurry in to talk to the king without thinking it through. Instead, Esther took her time. She prepared her heart by praying and fasting. She waited and listened for God to guide and direct her.
The Bible says that when we choose to wait on the Lord, taking time to properly prepare before making choices, He gives us the power and strength we need so that we can make the best choice at the right time.
Often the timing we hope for is not in line with God’s perfect timing, but His will is perfect. He is never late, nor surprised, and our children can learn to lean in and wait expectantly for God to show up at exactly the right time in any given situation. Because the Lord God knows and has planned every detail of our lives, our children can trust His plan.
The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident (Psalm 27:1-3).
Bravery is a feeling of confidence and strength, even when you are faced with trouble or danger. During those times, it’s easy to forget that God is bigger than our problems.
Abigail was faced with a difficult and dangerous choice. It would have been very easy for her to ignore the problem or be too scared to do anything about it. Instead, Abigail remembered that God was with her. She thought about how to protect her family and show David respect and kindness at the same time. She considered everyone involved in the problem, and she chose to solve it with a warm heart and solid thinking.
There will be times in life your children will be at a crossroads where she can either stand up for what is right or stay quiet. Abigail’s example can help them speak up and act with integrity.
Dear children, let’s not say that we love each other. Let us show our love with our actions (1 John:3-18, The New Living Translation).
When Naomi needed someone by her side, Ruth was there. It would have been very easy for Ruth to let Naomi continue the journey home by herself. Instead, Ruth chose to stay with her. Naomi lost the people she loved most in the world: her husband and her sons. Ruth knew that Naomi needed someone to love her. She might have felt nervous or scared to leave her home, but she put Naomi’s needs ahead of her own feelings.
Loyalty is showing love and genuine kindness towards others, despite how we may be feeling. This isn’t always easy to do, especially if our children are feeling hurt or betrayed, but the story of Ruth can teach them how to be faithful friends and show up fully for the people in their lives.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4).
Deborah was a woman who dedicated her life to serving others. As a judge, she helped people solve their disagreements. She gave them good advice and encouraged them to do the right thing. Deborah was a humble servant, choosing to value God and people more than she valued herself. Because of her faith, strength, and character, God placed Deborah in a position to lead His people into battle and win a great victory!
Leadership is more than being in charge or telling people what to do. It doesn’t only mean doing the work God wants you to do. Being a good leader also means encouraging the people around you to do the same.
Remember, it is in your home, on your lap, and at your kitchen table that you will fight the battle for your child’s character.
Devote some intentional time to show them that leadership isn’t just about learning to trust the voice inside.
It’s about building inside them a voice that is worthy of trust.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus demonstrated a special love for kids. You can discover more in the post 3 Times Jesus Showed His Care for Children.