It’s that time.
Kids are headed back to school. You’ve got their backpacks, crayons, glue sticks, and erasers. Their back-to-school clothes and tennis shoes are tucked in their closets.
And while all of that is a necessary part of attending school outside of the home, there’s something much more important.
Are their hearts ready?
It’s the question many Christian parents may find themselves asking. Before I began homeschooling, it was the question looming in my mind.
Thankfully, there are still great teachers who love our kids and are passionate about guiding them in learning. My mom used to be one of them (until her retirement), so trust me when I say our choice to begin homeschool had nothing to do with a lack of appreciation for the good teachers out there.
While their teachers may not be a concern, you may often wonder about the impact made by other students (and the impact they make on others too). Don’t think I homeschool because I want to shelter them from it. Effective interaction with others is too essential to our lives for that.
No, we shouldn’t seek to keep our children from potentially problematic interactions. But we should want to prepare them for it.
- Prepare them for the child who tries to convince them to do they things they shouldn’t.
- For the child who’s sitting alone because no one else wants to be their friend.
- For the child who tries to make others feel inferior.
- Or the child who feels inferior themselves.
If public or private education is what you’ve chosen, prepare them to be out among the broken, fleshly, dark world.
Essential Back-to-School Prep
So what exactly are we doing to get them ready for the school year?
1) Biblical training and discipleship
Preparing our kids for the errors of the world starts with teaching them the truth. Here are a few ways we’re training our children up:
♥ Family worship
♥ Bible study
♥ Scripture memory
♥ Psalm and hymn singing
♥ Daily prayer
They can learn from an early age that God’s Word is the basis for all truth, and that glorifying Him is the greatest call for all of humanity.
2) Pray for them
Praying for our children is something I do daily.
But in special preparation for the school year, you can also pray:
- that they will not be conformed to the pattern of the world
- that the Holy Spirit will embolden them to exhibit strong character, especially when it’s hard
- that they will be anxious for nothing
- that they will turn to God and you, as their parents, when they need help
- that they will be an example for other kids, in whatever ways they are gifted
- that they grow daily in the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control)
A quick note: let your kids hear you praying for them.
I treasure those verses in John when Jesus is praying because I get to read something that He prayed with all of His people (including me) in mind. And of course, it’s a comfort knowing that He always intercedes for us.
Similarly, we are the hands, feet, and mouths of Christ in our homes. We are the ambassadors of Jesus to our children. What does hearing us pray for them stir in their little hearts?
I love having people in my life who pray for me. But there’s something very special about my mother telling me she’s prayed for me.
3) Open the conversation
If we really want our kids to get it, we need to just talk to them.
Talk to them about peer pressure and bullying. Let them know what they should do if they see someone else being unkind. Encourage them to be kind to those who don’t have many friends. Teach them the importance of disagreeing with others firmly but gently.
Of course, modeling these types of behaviors for them goes far. Do you want your daughters to know gossiping about their friends is sinful? Make it a point not to gossip. Want to teach your young men not to push other boys into things that violate their conscience? Talk to them about it at home and make sure you don’t do that with others. Want them to respectfully disagree with others who have differing opinions? Make it an everyday practice.
If we want our kids to have strong characters, it starts with us.Tweet
Take steps to model the behaviors you want them to exhibit (if you haven’t already).
I don’t know how much time you have before your little ones head off to school. Or maybe they already have. Even if that’s the case, it’s not too late. Let’s all do what we can to help our little lights shine.
How are you preparing your kids for this school year?
Until next time,
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