Children Model After Christ

Jesus and a childChildren that model their lives after Christ, their Father in Heaven, are strong warriors. Do you recall being able to single out a few students that you respected at school, or in your neighborhood? These students championed their God-given purpose, though they may not have understood it at that time. They fixed their thoughts on truth, honesty, respect, love for others, and moral excellence. The children you respected as a child, stood out as if they were a beacon. Many were the class leaders, and others were the quiet, respectful children sitting in the middle of the room almost invisible, but both types possessed something others recognized in them but did not know how to acquire themselves, it was elusive.

Our purpose as parents is to nourish our children’s desire to become Young Christian Warriors. Christ provides a clear way to meet this goal. The world also offers a way, though the moral compass may not always point north, and is not ‘the way’. Teaching our children is the core of what Christian parents should do to help their children become Young Christian Warriors, and receive the respect they deserve. Our children must spend time daily learning the Word and practicing the characteristics and virtues identified in the Bible.Girls Helping

This study focuses on two scriptures that our children should learn to become the leaders God has defined them to become. These two scriptures also explain why adults should treat children with the respect God expects them to receive.  Teaching our children Christ-like behavior will build them up to become respectful leaders.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) says, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

God stores treasures in us before we are born. Some are able to use them with little instruction or effort, others need guidance; all children deserve to be respected for who they are in Christ, regardless of age, we are all under construction and strive to do better, none is perfect, except Christ.

Paul wrote:

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

My granddaughter often queries why adults do not listen to children as if they are non-persons until they reach adulthood. She believes that God speaks to children just like he speaks to adults and, children can discern just like adults. I believe there is truth to her thought. I have held conversations with children the caused me to query, who is inside this child. Children are thinkers, and children that are believers think like God. They demonstrate Philippians 4:8 and 1 Timothy 4:12 through their walk and interactions with others. Some, like my granddaughter, refuse to cut corners to complete an assignment, they will not skim the story when the instructions clearly stated to read the entire story before answering the questions, they stand by the child that is feeling sad or hurt, hold the door for adults, turn in items found on the playground, watch how they communicate with others, act in faith, and love their neighbor.Three boys

Are my granddaughter and other children perfect? No. They are children and will mature as they travel the developmental stages of childhood. The difference is their moral compass points to the north, so while they may veer from the path of righteousness, they know the difference between right and wrong. When they join friends (see September 25th Post, Ask Your Children, Who is a Friend?) or try things that are questionable, they will feel the tugging and hear the quiet voice that says STOP, this is not the path I have chosen for you.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
        Two little boys doing school work         Clip Art fallen groceries     Young boy serving an elder
    1. Teach them the two scriptures, one at a time
    2. Discuss the scriptures throughout the week and how they relate to your child’s day-to-day activities
    3. Every day ask them how they applied these scriptures throughout the day and to give examples
    4. Celebrate that they are becoming Young Christian Warriors

“Sound doctrine is not only right believing, but is right behavior.” The Complete Companion for Spirit-Filled Bible Study by Jack Hayford, General Editor, 1995. Our youth should not be looked down upon because they are young, they deserve respect as children of God, growing in his likeness.

two girls      Father, Mother and Children         A boy on crutches       Children working together


Activating the Fruit of the Spirit in Children

All saved Christians embody the Holy Spirit. He dwells in us. Our children need to understand that they are his host. Everything Jesus represents resides in our children and needs to be activated in their being. You can compare superheroes to Christ and the hero they morph into as the Holy Spirit. The hero that lives in Clark Kent is Superman, and the hero that resides in Wonder Woman is Diana Prince. Now, this is stretching it a bit, however, the Holy Spirit resides in us and we must activate by incorporating it with our personalities to manifest the character of Christ in our own lives.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.

In the previous lesson, Armor First, I spoke briefly about the Fruit of the Spirit and named each, but did not define them. How many of us read this scripture to our children but did not teach them how to become more like Christ? The question is, how do we share the power of these words with our children? We teach through defining and applying the Fruit of the Spirit in how we should live, act and think.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. – Galatians 5:22, 25, 26 NLT

When I was a Teen Bible Study teacher, I found that our kids were so vulnerable. The world so easily tries to gobble up our young people through social media, and TV exposure is pervasive. Today, peer pressure is heightened through smartphone access. The outreach and exposure through these avenues are pervasive. Our children’s friends, sometimes innocently entice our children and teens to join in ‘the fun’ which can be immoral and sinful. In a world of ‘fake truths’, it is difficult for them to know who they are and how to stand in the face of evil.

So back to Fruit of the Spirit. We need to teach our children that they belong to Jesus Christ, that they embody the Holy Spirit, and if they are going to emulate someone, it should be Christ, and not blindly following the crowd. They need to understand that if they practice love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, they will succeed in life. The fruit will make them stronger in the Lord, and along with the Whole Armor of God, they will ward off the tricks and traps of the evil one.

What does this mean to you and your children? To begin, teaching your children the spiritual definition of the words increases their understanding of Jesus, his Disciples and men, and women in the Bible. It provides them with a framework of what it is to be a good person and become more Christ-like. They need to know that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). They are the children of our Almighty God.

Helping Children Put On Their Armor Through Prayer

Putting on your children’s armor is a process.

When you begin the lesson, it will take time to thoroughly train your children in understanding how and what they are doing.

When my Granddaughter and I began praying the Whole Armor of God, I would repeat the prayer after me. I began teaching the prayer to my Granddaughter when she was five. She is turning nine and no longer needs my help.

I always asked her what I said, quizzing her to decide if she understood the power of the prayer over her life. I would explain that putting on the Armor is like getting dressed every morning. You put on one piece at a time.

Over time your children will grow in their understanding and the prayer may take 4-5 minutes unless the Holy Spirit inclines them, or you, to speak to what is occurring in their lives. Today my granddaughter leads the prayer. She explains what each piece of armor does and what she specifically wants to include in the prayer. For example, my granddaughter was being bullied at school by one of her classmates, so she included protecting her mind when praying about the Helmet and what it covers, she prayed – “I reject Janet’s mean words about me, they have no power over me.”

A recommendation, ask your children visualize putting on the armor as you pray out loud explaining how each part of the armor will protect them.

At the close of the day I always ask her how her day went and did the armor protect her today, she would tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and if she visualized the part of her armor when the enemy came against her. If she did, she would tell me how it protected her and kept her at peace and, how she applied Jesus’ example in her actions. Often she will report whatever was causing her a problem stopped. We praise the Lord for the Armor.


Today Lord, we are putting on the Whole Armor of God.

The Helmet of Salvation covers my head, my mind, and my eyes.
My helmet is my invisible sensor, and it keeps evil out of my mind. It helps me focus on the Lords will and not on sin. It helps me to ward off and reject harmful words and actions directed at me by others. It protects me from evil. It deflects hurtful things people say to me.

The Breastplate of Righteousness protects my heart.
Righteousness is the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit; it is a gift from God, I cannot earn it. Righteousness is much like a filter that strains out unGodly and reinforces our wish, to be honest, trustworthy, kind, good-hearted, loving, and joyful. (Fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23).

The Belt of Truth holds us together.
It keeps all the armor in place, like a belt holding up pants, blouse tucked in, secure in Jesus and the Word of God. It keeps our heart and mind focused on Christ.

The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace covers my feet.
Everywhere I walk I walk in and bring peace. My sandals, shoes or sneakers keep me from hurting my feet. The gospel of peace is the Word of God that we share with others as we walk in His Word. Without the Gospel of Peace, I am barefoot and cannot walk without fear.

The Shield of Faith protects me from the darts of the enemy.
It helps me when I do not understand. My faith is the thing God gave me to protect me from the things I cannot see.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. It gives me boldness to reject and attack misinformation. I use it to defend myself from things I know and don’t know are wrong. The sword cuts through everything the enemy can send my way. The sword is the way, the truth, and the light.

Father, thank you for my armor. I go out today able to protect myself from evil, by acknowledging the power and strength you gave me though sacrificing your son, Jesus, to give me life.

I hope you found this short series about how to teach your children to cover themselves begins to visibly change their sense of who they are as Young Christian Warriors.

Next Post: Recipe for Success – Teaching Children How to Embody the Fruit of the Spirit