Gospel Centered Family

Helping families and churches share Jesus with the next generation.

Calling our Kids to Holiness

Jeff HutchingsComment
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.
— 1 Peter 1:14-16 ESV

Holiness is not a topic I regularly see written about with respect to children. Holiness is what God is working for all Christians.  Philippians 1:6 reads, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Christ is working to sanctify believers... to make us holy... to have  us become more like him.  Parents should be praying for this work to happen in their children. Parents should set apart time to help cultivate this in their kids as well. 

Many have a checklist of what they need to do to be "good Christian parents". This list often includes things like church attendance, saying prayers before a meal, or baptism. Parents believe that if they bring their kids to church every week and arrange for their child to be baptized, their child will then be inoculated to sin.  

Parents are called to more than a to do list. We should be modeling holiness for and cultivating holiness in our kids. But how do we do it?

1. Modeling and encouraging disciplines. As parents we should strive for holiness. Our good works do not earn favor with God, but they help to deepen our relationship with Him. Parents must make efforts to read our Bibles, pray, and practice other spiritual disciplines. As Dallas Willard once wrote, "Grace is opposed to earning, but it's not opposed to effort."

2. Admonish and discipline our children. We discipline our kids because we love them and we want what is best for them. When we see behavior is not in keeping with God's standard of love, we bring correction. Consistent discipline over time helps our kids grow in love for God. It shapes them in a life of obedience to him.

3. Ensure they are in community with other believers. Community spurs kids on to be more like God. Seeing and experiencing more mature Christians demonstrates to kids what holiness is like and encourages them to love God and pursue a set apart life for themselves.

Check out the two resources to the left to learn more about instilling holiness in our kids.