And speaking of spiritual growth, the culmination of a child’s faith-based learning results in their ability to tell others about God. Train your children to not only share the story of God, but to discern when and where it is appropriate to do so, and to always do so from a place of love, not judgment or anger.

It’s important that a child be able to explain their faith. After all, they’re going to be questioned, refuted, and even derided, at times, for believing in that which they cannot prove. Authors like C.S. Lewis lay out ways to explain faith in books like “Mere Christianity,” which can not only help a child explain their beliefs, but also strengthen them within themselves.

This is the hardest part of raising Christian children, who will want to know all of the “why”s and the “how”s. You won’t always have answers because God is, quite literally, unfathomable in some ways. But don’t despair if those questions come, and you have no good answer. That’s part of the fun! Work these things out with your children, and admit when you’ve reached the edges of your knowledge—this can make for some wonderful bonding time that leads to beautiful revelations.

Realize, though, that God has gifted us all with free will. Your children may not choose your particular view of Christianity, and may not choose it at all. If this is the case, don’t punish them—this will only push them farther away. Few things work to destroy Christianity like angry Christians.

Rather, accept and love them without condoning unbelief. Above all, continue to be a Christian, to help others, to serve the needy and protect the weak. Be a shining example of the goodness of God. This is alluring. It’s fascinating and beautiful. And it draws people in, including your children.

And don’t punish yourself for your children’s choices. You will not be judged by them, nor they by you. Each of us is responsible for our own path.

Take heed of these steps, though, and your children will have the best opportunity they can get to come to know God’s true character, and to truly grow to love Him. Remember, parents—God is with you. He’s by your side, helping you as your raise your children.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;

His mercies never come to an end;

They are new every morning;

Great is your faithfulness.

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