Are Your Kids Mature Yet?
Joey and Carla Link
March 27, 2019
Every parent celebrates “sphincter day”! OK, it may not be a national holiday, but the day your child learns to use their sphincter muscle to go potty in the toilet on their own initiative is a day of triumph for parent and child. It’s a day of celebration because you get to save money on diapers and because it is a huge sign of maturity for a toddler.
Every parent wants their kids to mature as they grow up. But what does “grow up” look like for your child? To be mature is to be fully developed, complete, and “grown up” for a given age. It is a process that requires consistent parental training, but even the best training won’t mature a child past what their age can process and handle.
While every parent wants their child to grow up and be mature, living through it is not always easy. Becoming mature is a constantly moving, changing, developing and evolving process which includes them growing and maturing physically. Some kids mature quicker and some are more delayed.
Letting a child scamper up a climbing wall or swing between the monkey bars when they say they can do it can be a hair-raising call for parents, because they fear the child might fall and get hurt.
It can also be easier to hold a child back from maturing because it’s simply too much work for the parent to guide and even push their child where they need to grow. Sometimes it’s just easier to not have to push and fight a child who doesn’t want to “grow up” in a certain area.
One area Christian parents often overlook helping their kids mature in is their spiritual growth. I (Joey) grew up going to an Awana program at our church. I received the Timothy award one year for memorizing the most verses and growing in my faith. While memorizing the verses was the easy part, I don’t remember my parents or anyone else asking me what the words or terms I was memorizing meant. In reality, they were just that, words I memorized.
Our grandchildren go to an Awana program and we facetime them every Wednesday afternoon to work on the verses they are memorizing and talk with them about what the verses mean.
You take your kids to church but when do you ask them what they learned and how they will apply it? Our kids knew this question would be part of our Sunday lunch table discussion so they paid attention to their teachers and the sermon and were prepared. You can help them memorize books of the Bible, but when do they learn what is in that book and why God chose to include it in the Bible? It wasn’t until I was sitting in Old Testament survey class in the Bible College I attended that I actually felt like I understood the Bible. Oh, how I wish I had greater understanding before that.
Oftentimes Sunday school, Bible studies and youth groups are good at reminding kids how God wants them to live, yet they are often greater at keeping the kids entertained to keep them happy. Oswald Chambers, the author of “My Upmost for His Highest” encourages and challenges Christians to be more concerned with their holiness than their happiness. Are you more concerned with your children’s holiness than their happiness?
How Are You Helping Your Kids Grow Spiritually?
- Do you help them memorize Bible verses each week?
- Do you help them understand what the meaning of Bible stories are?
- Do you ask them what they are learning in church, Sunday school, Bible studies or their own personal study of the Bible?
Asking them can be one thing, but helping them understand is every parent’s responsibility.
Next week we will give you 12 ways to help you evaluate where your child needs to mature spiritually.