All the great physical challenges of new parenthood are ultimately lost or won on the spiritual plane. All the plans and potential for new life lie in the new heart that God made through you. After all, the spiritual quality of life determines the quality of a life.
Being a parent has humbled and tested me more than any other job I’ve ever had. Not only are the hours infinitely longer (i.e. never ending) but there is also so much more pressure because you are entrusted with actual people to nurture and raise up. It’s definitely one of the greatest responsibilities I’ve had in the past two years and in my life.
That being said, I was glad to have an opportunity to read and review Spiritual Parenting in the First Five Years by Callie Grant. I’ve actually reviewed quite a few of her children’s book over the past couple years, so I was looking forward to reading her thoughts on parenting.
The book is divided into 5 short chapters and is actually only 37 pages long (it’s an e-book) so you can likely read it in less than an hour.
The premise of the first chapter is based on how our children are born to believe and were made to teach. Ever since God created us in the womb, he plants seeds of longing to know Him inside each of us. It’s through this seed that children experience God’s love in their own way as they grow up. As parents, it is up to us to encourage our children to foster and cultivate their first impressions.
Little Think Tanks
The second chapter talks about how our children have a great capacity for faith and we get the privilege to help shape it. Our kids faith starts forming at birth, and within the setting of family life and church community. The main thing I got out of this chapter was this: “God has made the most important facts about Him, the easiest to know.” As Ms. Grant writes, children are capable, in their humble age, of accepting God’s truth as a reality that makes sense. As parents, what we need to keep in mind is being able to teach our children about God in a way that they can understand.
I love the opening quote from this chapter by C.S. Lewis: “The signature on each soul may be a product of heredity and environment, but that only means that heredity and environment are among the instruments whereby God creates a soul, I am considering not how, but why, he makes each soul unique. If he had no use for all these differences, I do not see why he should have created more souls than one.” Essentially, each of our children are unique in how they show their free will. As a parent, we have the honor of shepherding them and letting our lives be a reflection of God’s love. By our chiildren seeing us as their examples of our faith, it will hopefully be the thing which draws them to God.
Grant writes, “The uniqueness of your child’s physical and spiritual make-up calls for a unique response from you in order to have a healthy relationship.” This quote resonates with me, particularly since we have two kids now and already see the differences in their personalities. Our children’s relationship with God is personal (just like adults) but the difference is that until they are old enough to express it, we as parents just need to stay “on bended knee” regarding their faith.
The focus of this chapter is on parents allowing the curiosity of our children to be the guide to their exploration of God and faith. Grant writes that children are innately curious and it is this curiosity which makes them ask us, their parents, questions. The ‘golden moments’ are the times when questions are asked and as parents we have the chance to answer them to the best of our abilities. It is when we can correct any misguided notions and share truths about our faith. Though the Bible doesn’t have a step-by-step guide for parents, it does give us the necessary tools (see Deuteronomy 6, among others) to effectively answer questions our children will ask about God and faith. As Grant so nicely puts it, “pray that your child asks you questions about God. Pray that you will be prepared to answer in just the way your precious child needs to hear.”
For more information on Spiritual Parenting in the First Five Years visit the author’s website. At the time of this blog post, the book is only available for Kindle at Amazon.
Disclosure: This book was kindly provided to me by Shelton Interactive for my honest review. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.