I grew up in a Christian home where my parents would wake all five of us up to pray. Oh, trust me, it wasn’t fun — especially when we were so sleepy and enjoying that lovely sleep. We would gather together morning and night reading the Bible and explaining what each verse meant to us. My parents would call us by our names to tell them which verse stood out to each of us, and we learned from each verse. We did this since I was a kid until I came to the United States at the age of 12.
When I came to the States, we continued, but it was getting tougher for all of us because we got so involved in school that we could not move forward with the routine on a weekly basis. My parents came up with an idea of fasting every Wednesday from morning till 2pm, and Saturday we would continue the prayer sessions because we didn’t have school the next day. So every Saturday, we would do the same routine over and over again until the older ones started working on Saturdays and we had our own agenda. We started a mandatory family meeting once a month, during which we would come together to catch up as a family. This was organized by my youngest sister. Afterwards, we would have popcorn and then watch a movie or Wrestling. This routine got tougher, as well, especially when we started school and then got married with kids. Our little family has grown tremendously and our agendas have changed quite a bit since we came to this country. Nevertheless, we are still very close with each other’s lives and praying for one another no matter where we are.
These are seven ways to raise up a Godly child which I learned from my parents:
- Having time for family devotions: Just like my parents started early to have family devotions, I encourage you to start one with your kids. It’s never too late.
- Make quality time for your children: My parents worked every time to make ends meet, but they still found that time to spend with us. Now, because I’m originally from Nigeria, our culture is designed differently in the sense that if my parents don’t take me to the movies or to the restaurant for daddy daughter dates, it is still okay. As long as they make time to give me their undivided attention and to hear me talk about my day or what’s going on in my world, I’m good.
- Declare blessings while in the womb: This is one thing as a new mom I’ve heard other women tell me and I did it. I declared blessings over our daughter every day. I put an anointing oil on my belly and I would rub it all over and as I did that, I declared success, love, faith, good health, no complications, and so on.
- Make time to attend their games (soccer, football, cheerleading, etc.) and PTA meetings: This is the one that my parents didn’t do as much. With their busy schedules, they tried several times to make it, but were called in to work. So most meetings and games, my parents didn’t attend but I have learned a lot here in the States.
- Challenge Yourself: It is very important that you step out of your comfort zone and attend to the needs of your child. Challenge yourself that each month you’ll take her to dance class or cooking class or something that you will enjoy as well as your child.
- Confidentiality: Growing up I shared my little secrets with my mother, and I will always tell her to keep it between us, and she would. A lot of times, children lose their confidence in their parents because the parents break that code. We need to learn how to keep things confidential so that our children can trust us to even share more things as they face the issues of life.
- Make them a priority: If you need to change some things in your schedule to accommodate theirs, do it. They really appreciate seeing you come to their practice, watching a movie with them, giving them your undivided attention as they share the difficulties they’re facing in life, and so on.
As you read through, I encourage you to make out time for your child, children or people important in your life because it’s never a wasted time and opportunity. Also if you haven’t read the book Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I encourage you to read, it because it will help during this journey of raising Godly children. Send me questions or make a comment telling me how raising up Godly children is working for you.