Keepers of The Home
There are several places in the gospels where they speak about Jesus as a young boy and his spirit growing strong. Our spirit is different from our physical bodies, but by no means is it any less important.
It is not uncommon for a mother to become concerned and diligent with her children’s eating habits. In an effort to establish wise habits for them now, a mother will be deliberate in what is set before their child so that they can be more equipped to make healthier choices in the future. Do we take that same amount of time to attempt to strengthen our children’s spirit?
My oldest daughter asked me the other day if I thought she would make a good actress. I told her that with some practice I think she could make a wonderful actress. She went on to tell me how one of our relatives had told her that if she worked in that industry in the future it would eventually defile her. I know exactly where they were coming from saying that but when she asked me if I thought that were true I had a bit of an epiphany.
I know my daughter very well. I have seen her face trials and temptations with boldness and confidence. Certainly she had failed a time or two in the past, but overall, I have seen her character remain true to her convictions. She has a very clear perspective of right and wrong according to God’s Word and she is not easily persuaded against it.
Any path we choose to take in this life will test us and try our faith. Simply being married and having children does that! These trials ultimately are the same and the victories will be overcome if we stand firm. I am convinced that it makes no difference what you put your hand to, the struggle of our flesh and the enemy always remains the same. A strong character is what makes all the difference.
A person with a strong spirit has the audacity to speak up against their peers when they are doing wrong. A strong spirit perseveres during tough times and chooses to believe and trust again and again. They are someone who delights in being set aside for God’s glory, no matter how strange it may look to others.
But what does it look like to train our children to have a strong spirit? First, we must have one ourselves. Our actions and reactions are constantly showing them whether or not we are strong spirited. Don’t let this discourage you. If right now you are convicted of being weak in spirit, God is so faithful! Begin to ask Him to help you to endure and become stronger in your faith. He delights in answering such prayers!
Another way we can help develop a strong spirit in our children is by not hovering over every situation, but allowing our children to make mistakes. If they are born again , the Lord Himself will be enough to teach them. If they are not, we need to be that voice of reason and encouragement when they fail.
I liken it to a small child whom you have warned not to touch something that is hot. Your command alone will never be enough and eventually the small child will have to learn on their own to see that your command is good and true and for their benefit. It is wise for you to assess a situation where they can touch something that is hot that will not cause long term harm to them, but temporarily show them the pain involved in their disobedience. This is what it is like to train our older children. They must be able to learn on their own that our commandments and the commandments of God are ultimately for their good. Once you are able to oversee a few of these “training” situations, with most children you can be on the road to cultivating in them a stronger spirit.