When you become a parent, it’s no secret that your life completely changes. Your responsibilities increase, your interests shift and over time your home becomes a place that is more important than you may have imagined.
Home is where your child will go for love, help, rest or anything they need. Home is where they will build the foundation of their experiences, their perspective, and their identity.
Home is where they should find encouragement, not discouragement, throughout their lives. And this doesn’t just apply to those who live at your house — this applies to the Church, which is home to all followers of Jesus.
At Alive Church, I recently offered some Parenting Life Hacks that can help you build a home of Christ-centered encouragement for children:
- Give them a home to run to not run from—In Mark 3:24-25, Jesus explains that a family who fights “will fall apart.” Promoting peace, kindness and the love of Christ will make your home and the church a welcoming place.
- Unite and be disciplined with discipline— It’s important for anyone involved in a child’s life to be on the same page when it comes to discipline. Just as God disciplines us, His children, to help shape us into our best selves, so we should do the same with children before it’s too late (see Proverbs 19:18).
- Prepare to give them the keys to their lives — Whether we like it or not, our kids won’t always listen to us or do what we want them to! Giving them the keys to their lives is letting them drive the car and go on their own. With your guidance, these independent decisions can lead them to rebellion, to spiritual maturity and in many other directions, you may not expect. Don’t hold them back! Let them come to Jesus when they are ready (see Mark 10:14b) and if they’ve gone wayward, help them know they can always come home (Luke 15:11-32).
What’s a way that you can make your home and the church a place of encouragement for children? As you think about the answer, I encourage you to ask God to show you how you can positively influence a child in your life.