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KEEPING SPIRITUAL WINDOWS OPEN
Kids will not share a faith they've borrowed. If they own it, they will share it with others. Without this essential step, they won't see the wisdom of obedience or the joy of serving. Here are some ways to make sure that once your child's windows are open to spiritual things, they remain open.
Keep the date. Get a Bible and mark down John 1:12 next to the day and time your child accepted Christ. Then tell your child to go to that verse anytime he or she doubts his or her salvation.
Throw a party. Go all out for your children's spiritual birthdays. Buy presents, make a cake and invite church friends over. That way every year they can mark when they first made the choice to become a Christian.
Give them permission. Romans 12:12 talks about presenting our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. Help your children see that they can rededicate their lives to the Lord as often as they feel they need to.
Raise the bar. Make sure your children are giving God room to do miracles. Encourage them to be courageous in prayer and unafraid to ask for anything. God will mark their lives with miracles that will undeniably prove His love and personal concern.
Growing by doing. Give your children opportunities to share Christ in actions and words. As a family, invite your neighbors for a meal and share the Christmas story or show the Jesus film. Brainstorm together for ways to show God's love by helping others.
We all know by experience that faith grows in starts and stops. Mountain peaks and lower-than-low valleys in spiritual progress are common.
Times of questioning are not only predictable but also necessary for some. The good news is that eventually, through prayer and persistence, tears and talk, a high percentage of people who grow up in a Christian home do put down the stake that says: "I give up. I'm yours, Lord."
While you're waiting for your child to show signs of a developing spiritual life, remember how God brought you to true ownership of your faith. Thank Him for those who cheered you on spiritually and also prayed for you--even when you were far off. Now, trust God to be as faithful with your children as He was with you.
Cheri Fuller is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The One Year Book of Praying Through the Bible (Tyndale) and 41 other books. For her resources visit www.cherifuller.com.
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