Written by Kim Wilson
When we moved out of our rental home and into our new house 13 years ago, our boys were two and five. It felt like a new beginning. As many parents do, we decided to give our five-year old a few chores. Simple tasks like feeding the dog and matching the socks in the laundry. Our youngest son asked if he could have chores like his brother. He was only 2 ½ years old! So, I decided to give him the same chores. He got to do chores in tandem with his big brother. Each year since, I make a point to give the boys new chores. You know, change it up and keep it fair. But the main intention is to equip them.
The word equip comes from the Old French word, ‘eschiper’, which means to embark; to fit-out a ship. I love it! That is exactly our intent as parents. After all, the boys will soon be sent out into the world.
Parenting our kids to become independent and trained in all areas of their lives is important. Things like how to manage a budget, (yes, since age 14), how to clean, do laundry, do yard work, cook, bake, how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, manners, time management, and developing good school skills, to name a few. Spiritual growth and development for our kids is also important and requires intent.
Why do our kids need spiritual growth and development?
• They are lights in this dark world. (Matthew 5:16)
• They are becoming spiritual soldiers in the battle of good and evil. (Ephesians 6:10-12)
• To keep them from sinful living. (Psalms 119:105)
• To service the Church. (Ephesians 4:1-16)
• Because they are disciples making disciples. (Matthew 28:19-20)
How does one foster Christian spiritual growth and development in children?
• Tithing (giving 10% of their chore money) to the church. The Bethel Children’s Wing has tithe boxes on the hallway walls.
• Serve as a family with our church in our community.
• Start Bible verse memory as part of their daily routine.
• Start them serving in Children’s Ministry. Our sons started at age 11.
• Give them an example. Pick an area of the church to serve. Bring them along when possible.
• Attend church regularly. Get them comfortable being in God’s house and amongst His people.
Here are a few Bethel resources to get you started.
Bethel Church serving opportunities: