by Joe McGee
As parents, we’ve all tried to do what is right. We all want our kids to grow up to be healthy, smart, and likable—not to mention, responsible. That’s why we’re always talking to them and encouraging them.
“Clean your room. Take out the trash. Brush your teeth. Do your homework. You’re going to make it. Study for your test. Say, ‘Yes sir.’ Say, ‘No sir.’ Sit up straight. God is going to help you. You’re not wearing that. Did you say ‘thank you’?”
You know the routine. While all of this has merit, we must not forget the most important trait that God is looking for in our children.
What is that?
That’s right. Godliness.
In Malachi 2:15 (NLT) we read,
Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are His. And what does He want? Godly children from your union. So guard your heart; remain loyal to the wife of your youth.
Godliness is more than being good. Godliness means being devoted to Him and to His commandments. Godliness is thinking like God and acting like Him.
Don’t get me wrong. No one is perfect. The Bible says the righteous fall seven times a day but they get back up. We are not known as the perfect people but as the “getting-back-up people.” We are all growing in His grace and in His knowledge everyday.
So, I may not have perfect kids, but I do want godly kids!
Because the Bible says in 1Timothy 4:8 (NLT), “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” The King James Version says, “Godliness is profitable unto all things!”
So what does godliness look like? How do I make my kids godly kids?
The Bible gives us a comparison of the godly versus the ungodly. In the book of Jude, in verses 14-21 (NLT), we read:
Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
These people are grumblers and complainers living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want. But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.
But you dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
The King James in verses 20-21 says, “But you beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God.”
So what do we get from this?
- Grumble and complain.
- Brag loudly about themselves.
- Flatter others to get what they want.
- Build up their faith. Read and meditate the Word of God daily. (Rom. 12:2)
- Pray Spirit-led prayers. (Eph. 6:18)
- Walk in love. Faith works by love—and love is not a feeling. Love is serving. Jesus said, “If you want to be great in My kingdom, become the servant of all.” (Matt. 20:26)
So what does a godly kid look like?
He has been trained to read his Bible on a daily basis, to pray Spirit-led prayers daily, and to serve others daily!
That is what leads to success in life. That is what God wanted—a godly seed.
God, give us the desire and the power to do what pleases You. (Phil. 2:13 NLT)