Are Your Children Well Rounded?
The employees at our steel fabrication company who get promoted, receive better pay, and have the most job security, are those that are “well rounded.” So just what does that mean? How can you be well rounded? How can you teach your kids to be well rounded?
You can find out from Luke 2:52 …“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
As a Christian parent, you want to do a good job raising your children, you should look at how Jesus was parented, and emulate His parents. You should be like Jesus and teach your kids to be also.
There are four areas of life addressed in the passage that Jesus learned: mental (increased in wisdom), physical (and stature), spiritual (in favor with God), and social (and man). Parents must ensure they, and their child’s schools train in these four areas, giving appropriate effort to all, and none at the expense of another. They are individual areas, but work together, to make a well rounded, Christ-like individual.
We covered mental and physical a few days ago here, now we will finish up the last two:
- Spiritual As mentioned in the mental area previously, we must teach the biblical world view. Spirituality is part of this of course, and must include the teaching and understanding of God’s Word. Spiritual comes from the Latin spiritus which means breathing. I am not talking about religion. Being religious and being spiritual are two different things. Religion is people’s attempt to please God, spiritual is taking on the nature or the very essence of God, and becomes a necessary part of us…like breathing. In 2 Timothy 3:16, we are told that all scripture is “God breathed”. Therefore, the meaning of being spiritual is to have as our nature, or our very essence, our means of living: the Word of God. We are to live the Bible. In addition to that, the Bible teaches that we are created by God to have a relationship with Him. A relationship with God is so important to Him, that He sent His Son to die on the cross to pay for our sins, so we can have a communicative relationship with God without the barrier of sin between us. God loves to communicate with us (prayer, and reading His Word) through personal devotions and personal prayer time. He loves for us to try to understand Him, and to be obedient to Him, which is spiritual. He wants us to be involved in our local church, and a ministry of some sort.Obedient Christian parents teach their kids to live the Bible, to obey God, and to have a communicative relationship with Him.
Spiritual young people have and disseminate a biblical world view, they glorify God in all they say and do. Are you spiritual like that in front of them?
- Social We are to have and maintain relationships. We are to have companionship and unity among fellow Christians. Relationships are extremely important for Christian growth, accountability, and the spreading of the Gospel. To be social, we must have the learned ability to reason logically, and to communicate effectively through rhetoric. Being social means to be friendly, courteous, a good listener, caring, loving, respectful, serving, compassionate, trustworthy, God honoring, and edifying.
By nature, people are selfish, self-centered, and proud (sinful nature we all have), which are detrimental to relationships with others, and to our relationship to God. To have a friend, you have to be a friend. To be social, we must have well developed mental and spiritual areas (see above). Kids today are the most social kids in all of history, with e-mail, texting, cell phones, and social sites on the internet. So Christian parents have a much bigger reason to teach Christian social skills. Teach the dos and don’ts of e-mailing, politeness, etiquette, and social rules and courtesy…rooted in love, grace, and others’ best interest .To re-iterate: being social is a learned skill, and as mentioned above, parents must teach logic and rhetoric. Teach others-centered, Christ-like social skills based on biblical mental abilities, and spiritual abilities, overcoming selfishness and pride.Christianity is intended by Jesus to be a group effort. We are to be out in the world’s “battlefield”, but then regroup, huddle up with other Christians around God’s Word, recharge, then go back out. We are to assemble as believers, encourage each other, hold each other accountable, and ensure each other is living an obedient, fruitful life in Christ. Encourage your children to interact with other Christians outside of school such as church youth groups and Bible studies. Then teach that the extension to that is also important whereas Jesus said we are to be lights in a dark world. Remember the song “This little light of mine”? we are not to hide our light under a bushel, but to let it shine outside of the church and school environment. Being social is important to God, and should be to you too.
Parents (and some schools) are doing their student a disservice when there is little or no balance of these 4 areas. When a school puts so much emphasis on one area, such as academics and homework, that sports suffer (physical), church activities and personal devotions are deleted (spiritual and social), and there is no time to go bowling or to the movies with friends or family (social), something is wrong. In that environment, students are not given the opportunity to fully be like Jesus Christ.
Kids are underdeveloped and struggle through the next chapter in their life when these 4 areas are not somewhat equally taught. It may not need to be an equal 25% for each area, but it does need to be close. Emulate the schooling Jesus had in the four areas above, and your child will burst forth when they graduate excited, hopeful and enthused, well rounded, Christ-like, and glorifying Him, not soured and incomplete. In their career, they may even get promoted quicker, make more salary, and have more job security than other people.
I welcome your comments below…