The Center for Faith & Culture—Olivet Nazarene University

Spiritual Development

The Role of Parents in the Spiritual Development of Children

Christians would agree that our children are extremely important. Christian parents invest their lives in providing for the needs and wants of their children with the desired outcome of a happy and successful life. Parents attend ball practices and games, work in concession stands, live through hours of piano practice and endure recitals, all to provide opportunities for their children to be their absolute best. Yet, often, the most important investment parents could make, an investment in the spiritual development of their children, is ignored (Beckwith 2004, 11). Barna expresses his frustration at this trend when he states the following: “I have been discouraged to discover that most American adults—including most parents—see spiritual development of children as a value-added proposition rather than the single most-important aspects of children’s development” (Beckwith 2004, 14). We must begin to recognize that the spiritual development of children is not only important but also mandated by Scripture. We must also recognize that the development of children’s spiritually is dependant upon the parents and adults of the faith community. The role of leaders is critical in the spiritual development of children.

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