RAISING HEALTHY CHILDREN
(As presented at the WCG Conference in 2005)
Our goal as parent/care givers is to have children that have these attributes going for themselves: “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD;” Isaiah 11:2 KJV
Let’s take a few moments and look at this scripture. In this scripture from Isaiah, the prophet is talking about Jesus and what characteristics/attributes he has.
1. He first has God’s spirit - The only way that our young people will be successful in this life is when they have a relationship with the Father. Godly success is different than what the world says it should be. I’m not talking about having a good job or career or being famous or having lots of money, because none of those things can satisfy like the Lord and they are not using the Lord’s measuring stick. I’m talking about a child that grows into an adult and no matter where they are in this life they are walking with the Lord and growing. Yes the world’s standard may say that your child is a failure because her or she hasn’t gained a fortune, but in God’s eyes he or she is precious. What does it profit a man (or child) to gain the whole world, but lose his or her soul? Paraphrasing of Matthew 16:26
2. He has wisdom and understanding – To have wisdom means to be able to discern or judge what is true, right or lasting. To have understanding means to perceive or comprehend the nature and significance of something. To know thoroughly by close contact or long experience with. Jesus had wisdom and understanding because he knew what was true and what was right. He understood the Father because of his long contact and experience with the Father. If we are to help our children grow in wisdom and understanding we must make sure that we are giving them what is true and what is right in the Lord. We also must make sure that their experiences and contacts bring them to a place to know more and understand more about the Lord.
3. He has counsel and might – Advice or guidance especially from a knowledgeable person. He grew in might, might is the power, or force or influence held by a person. Jesus had the spirit of counsel and might meaning he was a knowledgeable person and was able to guide others. He also had power and he was able to influence others. We want to raise children that are knowledgeable about the things of God. As they grow in their knowledge then they can give help to those that are around them. We also want to raise children that have influence as they walk in the power of God. Influence for good and not for evil.
4. He had knowledge – Familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through experience or study. Jesus was familiar with the ways of God. He was aware of his presence. He had experiences with God, so he had knowledge of God. We want to make sure that we help our children to become familiar with God so that they are aware of what his will is and to understand his voice. We are to help them gain understanding through their study as well as the things that they will learn from life’s lessons.
5. He had the fear of the Lord – This fear means having extreme reverence or awe toward God. When we have reverence for God, we are careful in the things we do. It’s no different than if you were invited to visit the king of a country or the President. You wouldn’t just walk in and have a seat. You would be careful to know what do I wear before the king? How do I speak before the king? What is my behavior to be? You would want to know what you are to do and how to do it. That’s what kind of reverence we want to teach our children. You are going before a Holy God. Make sure that what you present to him is worthy of who he is. We must make sure that we are an example of this before our children as well.
Now don’t leave me. I know this looks like a tall order to achieve especially when for a mother just getting dinner on the table can cause you to have to pray and fast for answers. I am sure however that this can be accomplished. Why? Well first God would not give us the task, if it were something we could not obtain. God doesn’t set us on a path of impossibilities. He sets us on the path of success, as long as we remember we are walking with him.
In part III, of Raising Healthy Children, we will take a deeper look into how we can begin the process in our own families to bring these things about.