Art should be a major part of every person’s childhood. You don’t have to be artistic yourself though, in order to use watercolors, crayons, markers, clay or any other art supply to help your kids grow spiritually.
Young children are awesome artists. Their art is pure and true. They aren’t worried about what other people think of it. They produce art for the sheer joy of being creative. Older children and teens are often scarred by art experiences in school, but given art supplies and a supportive environment, most will soon remember the joy of creating.
God created each of your children with unique gifts, interests and
characteristics, knowing they would also have unique opportunities and experiences that would all work together to prepare them for the good works He wants them to do.
As a parent, one of our assignments is to help our children discover and develop in all of these areas and then teach them how to find and do the good works God has planned for them.
What are the best ways to do that though, when it seems like you already have so much to do in Christian parenting? It will take some intentionality on your part, but it’s not as difficult as you may think.
One of the saddest things to watch is a parent trying to force one of their kids to have a career or participate in an activity for which it is obvious their child has no gift or interest. The dynamic not only makes the child miserable, but puts an unnecessary strain on their relationship. If pushed too long and too far, the strain can often cause irreparable damage, as either the child rebels in the opposite direction or submits to a lifetime of what they believe is pure misery.
God creates each person as an individual. Your children may have some characteristics from you, some from your spouse and some from some distant relative none of you have ever even met.
God also gives each of us one or more gifts He knows we will need to serve Him in the opportunities He will give us during our lifetime. One or more of your kids may have a gift that appears uniquely unlike any other given to others in your family.
God also knows each of your children will have experiences and opportunities that the rest of your family will not have. Some of these may be good and others not so much, but each will be a part of whom that child becomes.
So how can you avoid forcing your child into following your life plan instead of becoming who God created him or her to be? First let’s talk about what shouldn’t be in anyone’s life plan if they are truly trying to become who God created them to be.
Done well, service projects can help your kids grow, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. They can help your children start to really understand how all of those pieces of their faith fit together to form a Christian life.
Did you know kids need boredom to grow? A huge part of learning can only be done when you have unstructured free time to think on deeper levels and explore. This is just as true for spiritual growth as it is in other areas of your kids’ lives.
There’s a trick to this unstructured free time though. You have to create an environment where thinking and experimentation will actually happen. If your kids spend all of their free time playing video games or watching Netflix, there will be no positive growth.
So what does an environment look like that encourages growth when there is unscheduled free time? Here are some ways you can create that type of environment for your kids.