Be a leader yourself!
Are you a leader or a follower? Generally speaking, parents who are followers will produce children who are followers. And followers are very good at just standing around in a crisis, or floating along. God has not created us to be passive – He gave us authority (Gen 1:28) to rule and reign as the Kingdom heirs we are! He has called everyone for a specific purpose (Jer 1, Psalm 139) and He wants us out there doing, conquering and saving and changing the world. Passivity is death! Whatever you do, don’t stand around. Faith is an action.
Be a spiritual submarine…
A godly parent is the unseen spiritual submarine that lurks below the surface of every activity of his child’s life. Though you may be out of sight, you are not without influence. Stand in the gap for your children (Eze 22:30), for through your righteous prayers (James 5:16) you have the ability to affect situations where you are not present in person. Speak prophetically over your children, and call the things that are not as though they were (Rom 4:17), proclaim God’s will in their lives and bring to pass His plan with their lives. We have been given the authority – let’s rule and create with our words!
Expect your children to be leaders.
Matthew 9:29 states that it will be to you according to your faith. There is a saying that say “If you can see it, you can have it!” Do you see your children as leaders and expect them to be leaders? Then they will begin to see themselves as leaders. What are your expectations? Our Heavenly Father expects us to be leaders – Whow, if He sees us as leaders, who are we to be timid, passive, and full of unbelief and fear? Let’s step up boldly and come up higher (Rev 11:12) and take hold of our God-given inheritance and purpose!
Encourage the leader in your child.
Every leader gets discouraged. Encourage your children and help them to become full of hope and faith regarding their dreams, hopes, aspirations, etc. Constantly remind them of the wonderful plans God have for them (Jer 29:11-13) and how He wants to use them. Our Father constantly remind us through His Word to be strong and courageous, not to fear, for He is with us (Joshua 1:9).
Re-affirm your children as leaders.
A child quickly forgets and they need to be reminded frequently who they are when the pressure is up. When they start to doubt or start to follow the crowd, be quick to remind them that they are leaders. In His Word, God reminds us constantly of our identity in Christ, of who we are in Him: a royal priesthood, a chosen generation (1 Pet 2:9), heirs and co-heirs (Rom 8:17)… He will keep on affirming us till the day of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:8).
Support your children in their leadership.
The greatest way to support your children in their leadership is to be there for them and to listen to them. When they need to talk, you need to listen. They will go through some tough times where all their friends take the easy way and they have to stand tall – that is the time to support them and to listen to their hearts. And sometimes, all they need is just to talk and for you to listen, without offering any advise or solution, but just listen in such a way that your child will feel absolutely accepted, loved and supported. Our Father is always there for us: Psa 34:15 says “The eyes of Jehovah are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.”
Reward their leadership.
When your child demonstrate leadership, you should reward him. Not with a gift, or money or material things, but bless and reward them with your words. Acknowledge and praise them – let your words always be full of grace, sprinkled with salt (Col 4:6). Remember that a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver (Pro 25:11). When your children stand up and lead, you can count on it that criticism will follow them. Let your words support, encourage, reward and affirm your children. You know that your children are worth it. Our Heavenly Father considered our worth so high that He gave His only Son to die for us. He gave us a whole book, His written Word, full of encouragement, affirmation, love and support… Should we not do the same for our children?
Remember, there are no guarantees – we are still human, and our children are still human. As we still make mistakes, so will our children. And as our Heavenly Father is forever gracious and forgiving towards us, let us be gracious and forgiving to our children, and keep on encouraging them. Never loose heart, however great the disappointment may by – Thank God, our Heavenly Father never loose heart with us!
You may think you have hopelessly failed your children and that your son or daughter may never come in. That’s how the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15) must have felt. No, it ain’t over yet! Prodigals have a way of coming home – keep the fatted calf ready…