Raising kids to follow Christ while the world is trying to influence them, too, can be overwhelming, to say the least. Godly parents have the responsibility to help their children understand that they have been set apart for God and His purposes. Here are some practical steps to helping your kids understand why being set apart to God is so important.
- Being a part of a family has expectations.God spoke to His people in Leviticus 20:26: “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” From the very beginning, God wanted a people to call His own, and He alone wanted to be their God. He formed a covenant with them that if they would be faithful to Him and obey Him, then He would bless them and take care of them.
When we are a part of God’s family, He has expectations for us. But remember, these expectations aren’t to spoil our fun or control us but to protect us and help us have good lives. When God told the Israelites to remain separate from the customs and behaviors of the nations around them, it was for their own good. God expects us to be honest in a world of deception, loving in a world of hate, kind in a world of cruelty, and forgiving in a world of callousness.
- Parents need to model being set apart. Choosing to remain set apart for God’s use only can be a difficult concept for our kids to understand, especially when they desperately want to fit in. I think the key to helping kids understand the importance of setting themselves apart for God starts with seeing their parents setting themselves apart for God. We can’t ask our kids to remain separate from the worldly culture while we indulge in it. Parents, it begins with us.
- Lovingly hold each other accountable.We can remind each other often about God’s expectations and challenge each other when we’re missing the mark. If someone treats us rudely, do we respond with kindness, or do we retaliate? When others choose to gossip or lie, do we resist or join in?
In Jeremiah 1:5, God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” We are Christ’s ambassadors on the earth. It’s our job to represent Him and His Kingdom to others. Let’s decide to be set apart in our words, actions, thoughts, and attitudes.
Action Steps: Discuss the following with your children.
- What are some expectations we have for our family?
- What are some expectations God has for His people (His family)?
- How can we encourage each other to be set apart for God and separate from the world?