Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6
As parents, we always want the best of the best for our kids. Constantly, we are told that the goal we should have for our children is to raise them up to be happy, well-adjusted people with a successful, well-paid job, a fabulous marriage, and a bunch of awesome possessions. And well, to be real, this all sounds pretty perfect, right?
Well.. maybe not..
Now, of course, I am not saying that it’s wrong to want this for our kids but what I am saying is that maybe we need to stop focusing on the world’s view of “perfect” and start focusing on what God says. The world’s standards are far different than the standards that God has set out for us, and so the question that we must ask ourselves is this.. what do we want for our children? Do we want them to live a “perfect” life, or do we want them to live a life that honors God?
According to The Bible, there are many qualities that we need to obtain in order to really live a righteous life. When Jesus was on this earth, He embodied every perfect and godly quality imaginable. No, our children will never come close to obtaining that kind of perfection, but it should be our heart’s desire for them to strive towards it every single day.
So, how do we know what these qualities are? Well, we look to God’s holy, precious Word, and search the scriptures for our answers.
And how do we help our children to become godly men and women? We get on our knees and pray. Prayer can move mountains, it is by far one our most powerful strategies as Christians. We cannot force our children, nag them, or try to convince them to have a heart for God. We need to show them by example, we need to teach them, we need to love them, and most of all, we need to come humbly before our Lord and Savior, and ask Him to do the mighty work, that only He can do, in their hearts and in their lives.
So come on brothers and sisters, let’s search those scriptures, let’s wait on The Lord to reveal His perfect truth to us, and let’s come before Him and pray on behalf of our children, every single day!
There are many more qualities we need to pray for our children to have, but these are the 16 that have stood out to me (many of which are the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of him that diligently seeks him.
– Hebrews 11:6
In order for our children to have a real relationship with Jesus, they must have faith. We cannot see Him with our eyes but we can believe in Him with our hearts and souls. We need to pray for our children to have the kind of faith that pushes back all of the lies and the doubts of the world. They need a faith that gives them the strength to stand for Jesus, even when the whole world mocks them for it.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
– Matthew 21:21
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
– Galatians 6:10
Kindness is such a beautiful, godly quality that our children need to have. When Jesus came to earth, He showed kindness to all those He met. As Christians, it is our fruits – our kindness, that will tell the unbelievers that we are followers of Christ. When our children are on the playground or at swim class, it will be their kindness that stands out.
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
– 1 John 3:18
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
– John 14:15
This is such a significant quality to pray for our children. This world is full of so many lies about how we need to teach our children to be “individuals” and to let them learn and grow their “own way”. But The Bible tells us that we need to teach our children in the ways of The Lord. We need to teach them to obey God, to obey their parents, and to obey authority. If we do not teach them obedience, what will make them think they need to obey The Lord and follow after Him?
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
– Matthew 5:5
Meekness is not weakness. Jesus is meek, and our children need to learn to be meek, too. The definition of meek is to be quiet, gentle, submissive, patient. What a beautiful way to live! I don’t know about you, but I so want this for my children..and for myself! The Lord tells us that He will give all things to the meek, and He will teach them His ways. Let’s pray this for our kids!
The meek will he guide in judgment: the meek will he teach his way.
– Psalms 25:9
And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
– Matthew 23:12
In order for The Lord to draw near to our children, to teach them, and to use them for mighty things, they must first learn humility. Jesus says that if we boast and are prideful we will be brought low, but if we humble ourselves, He will lift us up! Let’s pray that our children learn the precious quality of humility.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
– James 4:10
6. Courage (Trust)
Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
– Deuteronomy 31:6
We all face tough times in our lives, and our children aren’t any different. They have fears, worries, and obstacles that they will have to overcome. We need to pray that our children learn to look to Jesus in these times. They need to find the courage that ONLY comes when they look to God, and trust in His deliverance.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
– 2 Timothy 1:7
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
– Hebrews 13:5
In a world that is so focused on having more, being more and doing more, learning contentment can be a real challenge. The Lord does not desire for our children to be a state of wanting and never being satisfied with what they have. He calls us all to let go of that mindset, and learn to be content in every situation. Discontentment will rob our children of their joy and peace in The Lord, so let’s pray that they learn to be satisfied with what they have and who they are.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
– 1 Timothy 6:6
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
– Ephesians 4:32
The Lord tells us that if we do not forgive others, we won’t be forgiven by Him. Our children are bound to make mistakes, and they are surely going to have times where they will need to forgive others. The Lord is so gracious to forgive them, let’s pray that they learn right from the start, to forgive others.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
– Philippians 4:4
The world’s definition of happiness is based on their present situations and circumstances, but the joy of The Lord is not. His joy does not come when everything we want is given to us, when everyone else is acting as they should, or when our life is finally “perfect”. The joy of The Lord comes straight from Him and is solely based on who He is. We need to pray that our children refuse to seek out the “happiness” that is always so fleeting, but instead, that they seek after the joy that always remains.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
– Zephaniah 3:17
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
– James 1:3
“Patience is a virtue” – I’m sure you’ve heard that saying before, and well, it’s true. Patience is godliness. When we go through trying times, when our prayers aren’t being answered fast enough, when we’re waiting on His timing, patience is key. Our children need to learn patience for so many different reasons. Time after time they will be faced with a situation where this is needed, but if they have not learned it, how will they persevere? Like the many people in The Bible that needed patience in order to fulfill the plans of God, let’s pray that our children will be the same. The Lord has a purpose for each of our children, we need to pray that they would obtain this godly quality in order to follow through.
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
– 2 Peter 1:6
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left-hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to them that lay a hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.
– Proverbs 3:13-18
Wisdom is such an important quality that all of us need to seek after. After reading the scripture above, I’m surprised that more people (myself included) aren’t learning and teaching more about it. King Solomon desired wisdom above all else, and when given the opportunity to receive anything he wanted from The Lord, this is what he chose. Our children need wisdom in order to know how to make godly decisions, they need it to know how to help others, and they need it to know how to live a life that honors God. With wisdom, also comes discernment. We need to pray that our children obtain discernment because, without it, they may become easily drawn away by the world. Wisdom and discernment will help them to know what is of God and what is not. This is so vital for our children to know, I cannot stress this enough. Let’s all really purpose to pray for wisdom for our children.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
– James 1:5
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
– Titus 2:12
Learning to control our emotions, our thoughts and our actions is so significant for our children (and for us). This world is full of many different beliefs about how we should follow our heart, and do what we feel, but we need to teach our children that it’s not true. As Christians, we are taught to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We are taught that our feelings lie to us, our emotions and our thoughts are not what should determine our actions and that the only One that should determine them is Jesus. We need to pray that our children learn self-discipline right from the start.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
– 2 Corinthians 9:8
What is the difference between kindness and goodness? Kindness is how we act, goodness is what we do. We need to pray for our children to learn to have goodness instilled in their hearts. We need to pray that they will reject the darkness, and seek after the light. Our prayer should be that our children always shine brightly in this world and that others would know Who they follow by the good that they do. Let’s pray that they would have a servant’s heart and that they would learn to follow the example of Jesus to live their lives to serve God, and help others.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
– Psalms 37:3
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
– John 16:33
In a world full of confusion, stress, and chaos, where can you find peace? Our children are growing up in a very anxiety-filled generation, what they need now more than ever is peace. But peace does not come from the world, peace only comes from Jesus. We need to pray that our children don’t go searching for it in other places, but that they always turn to the Prince of Peace to fill their hearts, their souls and their minds.
We also need to pray that our children learn to live a life that represents God’s peace. The Lord calls all of His children to be peacemakers and to not cause problems with others. Our prayer should always be that our children walk in the ways of The Lord.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
– Matthew 5:9
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
– Ephesians 6:18
Living a life that honors Jesus is not always easy. Many times we will be met with resistance and opposition, and so will our children. When the road gets bumpy and the trials seem too large, perseverance will enable our children to keep moving forward. Many strong believers have had to endure trying times, but because of faith and because of the will to not give up, they were able to obtain all that God had intended for them. Let’s pray for our children to have this same kind of perseverance so that when difficult times come, they will continue to run the race.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
– Hebrews 10:36
16. Love of Christ
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
– 1 John 4:8
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
– Matthew 22:37-39
Now, this is by far the most important prayer of all. We need to ask The Lord with all of our might that our children would always have the love of Jesus Christ flowing through them. The scriptures tell us that we could have every gift, every perfect quality, and do every good work, but if we don’t have God’s love in us than we are nothing. Again, it is Christ’s love in us that will show to others Who we belong to. It is by His love that miracles happen, hearts are changed and eyes are opened. In order for our children to live a life that honors Christ in every part, and in order for them to fulfill His beautiful plans for their lives, they need to have His love in them.
We love him, because he first loved us.
– 1 John 4:19
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
– 1 Corinthians 13:13
As parents, it can become so overwhelming trying to keep up with all of the different things that we need to do in order to raise godly, righteous children. We tell ourselves that our best is not enough, that we need to do more and not only that, but we ourselves need to be more. And yes, there is truth to that.. Just like any other Christian, we need to be on a continuous journey to become more Christ-like and to grow in our walk with Him, but the reality is that we will never reach perfection in this life. We will never be great enough, holy enough, or doing enough, but we do serve a God that is always more than enough, in every way.
The Bible tells us that we serve a God that does not condemn us, ridicule us or reject us. Yes, He has wonderful, beautiful standards laid out for His children, but they’re not meant to discourage us or to remind us of how much we fail. His standards are there to encourage us and to motivate us to strive to be more like Him every day.
The Lord gave us our children for the main reason to raise up godly men and women that will live their lives to honor Him, love Him, and build His Kingdom. Are we always going to succeed at being the best examples or are at teaching them everything they need to know? Not likely, but by the grace of Jesus, that’s okay!
The Lord does not expect us to be able to do all of it on our own, in fact, He doesn’t want us to. Just as we want our children to come to us for guidance, for support, and for help, He wants the same for us. Let’s stop believing the lie that we need to be the perfect parents in order for The Lord to be pleased with us. Let’s realize that if we come before His throne with a true and humble heart, He is more than willing to provide.
We can read all of the parenting books, complete every task on the parenting to-do list, but unless we truly look to God and give Him the reins, we will fail. He has given us the beautiful gift of prayer, so let’s all purpose to make it one of our top priorities, and really seek The Lord for our children.
What are some qualities that I have forgotten?
Let me know in the comments.
..but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
– Joshua 24:15