childhood and adolescence: times of learning and growing

Childhood and adolescence are times of learning and growing, bringing love, joy, and fulfillment into the Christian home.

As I grew up, I always had the idea that I would some day get married to a handsome man, have lots of kids; at least three, and have the ideal family. Well, in reality, I did marry a handsome man, and had one child, a lovely daughter from our union. I wanted more, of course, but the Lord decided that one was just the right number for us.

From that point on, my perception of children and the importance they bring to the family unit changed and became broader in the sense of the roles they play and the meaning they give to the family unit as a whole.

As man and wife, my husband and I realized that instead of just thinking of tending to ourselves or to each other, we had to then consider a new addition to our family unit, and to focus on caring for our new daughter who would soon be coming into our world.

This may or may not apply to you, but I feel that, in many instances, having children makes you grow up and mature a lot quicker than not having them. You realize that you have to tend to and raise this sweet, little creation that God has placed into your life, and that life itself suddenly has become more serious but lively; challenging but more meaningful to you than before you ever had children.

Childhood can be such a happy time and one of great fun and memories as well. Unfortunately, some children do not experience happiness within their own childhood. However, I firmly believe that children themselves, are truly one of God's greatest blessings to the Christian family unit. They contribute to our happiness as adults and parents, such as is written in Psalms 127:5, where it says that, " Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." 

before you know it, childhood quickly grows into adolescence

Childhood does have its fun and wonderful moments as they are learning and developing physically, mentally, and emotionally. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with the fast changes that are going on within their world!

Teenagers; however,  are truly unique in that they are so full of life, drama, charisma, confusing feelings/emotions, highs and lows; and some are highly sociable, and others more reclusive in their relationships to others. All in all we love them just the same and strive to teach them to become good citizens who love the Lord and who will desire to live accordingly.

The adolescent years can bring about many wonderful moments of learning and growth changes. Along with this however, they may also introduce various challenges and frustrating times for that teen and for the parents alike.

Your child will experience various growth spurts and learning curves along the way, inserting his/her desires for independence as well. As you parent your children, presenting the gospel message of salvation to them, teaching them biblical principles, together with continual daily prayer and the steady training and knowledge of God's Word at hand, your child and/or teen will progress into a spirit-filled, God-fearing ambassador for Christ! 

important issues in childhood and adolescence

As you may know, Christian parenting can be extremely frustrating at times, as well as rewarding; however, getting through some of these hard and difficult issues first may be the prerequisite to advancing onward to the rewards God has in store for you and your family. God's Word gives much importance to this subject and here's how the Scriptures discuss it:

  • 1 Peter 1:6-7 tells us, "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried of fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."
  • Romans 8:18 reminds us, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
  • Isaiah 41:10 says, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness." Lastly,
  • Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

Some of these important family issues that include factors and issues of childhood and adolescence in today's family are some of the following:

  • Providing Childcare/Daycare for your children. Are you able to stay at home with your children? Or do you need to provide them with some sort of childcare, whether it be in a home daycare or a daycare center, etc? These are questions to think about for them.
  • Their Schooling: Deciding whether or not to send them to public/private, or Christian institutions,
  • College Selection And Preparation. Helping your teen decide and plan for his/her future college choices 
  • Their Health/Wellness: These issues are always important and should be a concern for every parent who wants a healthy child.
  • Their Social Lives. Well we know every child/teen has this, whether it be a very sociable one or an anti-social one. It is good to know about your child's/teen's whereabouts; about their friends or other people they associate or hang out with. 
  • Their Skills and Talents.  Get to know and understand what your child's/teen's special skills and talents are. The childhood and adolescent years are fun times to begin learning about these things. What kind of arts do they create? Is it writing, painting, drawing, making speeches, leading a group, etc.? Hone in on these gifts that God has given them, helping them to build, expand, and progress in them even more.
  • Bullying and Sexual Harassment Issues/Concerns. These types of problems affect your children more than you may realize. Their grades suffer, as well as their own emotional and spiritual well-being. If these issues are present within your child's school or home, seek immediate help to prevent them from spiraling downward into bouts of serious depression or attempts at suicide. 
  • Immoral, Sinful, Sexual Issues/Problems/Concerns In Your Home. During those childhood, adolescent, to early adult years, there may be members of your family who experience some of these issues such as: homosexuality, premarital sex, living in with someone before marriage, transsexual/transgender issues, STD's, drug use and abuse, alcohol use and abuse, domestic/child abuse and violence, and so on. When these situations take place in the Christian home, all family members become affected by them and must be stomped out before getting out of hand. Much prayer, Bible study, and dedication to living for God will help you all to gain the victory from these types of evil elements in your home
  • Childhood Fears From Bad Dreams Or Past Events. My daughter used to have these types of fears as a child. She would suffer continual nightmares nearly every night. Her dad and I found out that it was due to her watching scary movies before going to bed. We quickly cut that out. Instead, we had a time of Bible reading, and prayer, asking God to take away all fears and scary thoughts. In due time, He did just that! We know about the power of God and have experienced it in various situations, and
  • Divorce And Breakup In The Home. This can be a very devastating event for the family unit because it affects each member. I went through this particular situation with my family as well and know first hand of the many effects it can bring. These types of situations must be handled through much patience, the support of your church/school/Christian friends, prayer, and the reading and mediation of God's Word.

biblical principles to build on during childhood and adolescence

It can be so easy to get side-tracked from everyday routines and situations that we don't spend or take the time to give our children foundational, biblical principles to stand on. They need the guidance and support from their parents in these early childhood and adolescent years. Here are a few reasons why this is so important for the Christian family:

  1. To aid them in having more confidence and boldness to stand up for Christ, for God's Holy Word, and for biblical principles (moral and righteous), (Eph.3:12, Acts 28:31, 2 Cor.3:12),
  2. To demonstrate to them where and Whom to go to first whenever a problem or crisis arises in their lives-that they first go to the Lord for help (2 Tim. 3:1-17, Phil.4:6, Matt.6:25-34, 1 Pet. 2:21),
  3. To learn how to discern the good from the evil, how to test every spirit, and to act or react accordingly, (Isaiah 5:20, John 7:24, Col.3:1-2, 1 John 4:1),
  4. To learn how to pray diligently, fervently, and consistently in all things (Mark 11:24, Rom.8:26, Matt.6:7, Luke 11:9, 1 Tim.2:1-4, James 5:16, Eph.6:18),
  5. To memorize Scripture so that (a) he/she might not sin against God (Ps.119:11). and (b) he/she may always be ready to speak and talk, or give an answer to those who do not know the gospel (Col.4:6, and 1 Pet.3:15),
  6. To congregate with others in fellowship to God through corporate and individual worship (Acts 1:14, Acts 2:42, Joel 1:14, 2 Chron.7:14, James 5:14, 1 Tim.2:8),
  7. To have the willingness to serve others through Christian ministry and in spreading the gospel message (Eph.4:11-13, 2 Cor.6:3-10, 1 Tim.4:12, Heb.13:7, 2 Cor.3:6, Matt.28:19, Psalms 96:3, Matt.24:14, Rom.1:16, Rom.10:13-14), And,
  8. To learn how to obey God in everything. (John 14:15, Acts 5:29, Matt.7:21-23, Luke 16:13, Eph.6:1, Mark 1:15, Psalms 119:11,1 Sam.28:18). 

As a Christian parent, you need all the help you can get when it comes to raising your children throughout these childhood and adolescent years. However, when you approach it through God's Word, allowing biblical principles to be established in your home without shame, reproach, or argument, your children will have the godly foundation they need as they grow into young ambassadors for Christ.

It is during these childhood and adolescence years that these principles must first be taught, learned, and applied throughout their lives as they live for God, giving Him the honor and glory that He deserves, serving and worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth.

Related Articles:

Children: God's Greatest Gift To Your Family

Chaos Within Your Home And Family Unit

Difficult Home Issues

Family Parenting: Instilling Christian Principles And Values In Your Children For Life

Family Health, Wellness, And Fitness

Fatherhood: Bringing Stability To The Family Unit

Home Life In Christian Living

Sewing Skills For The Christian Homemaker

Educational Routes For Your Children

Expecting A New Arrival?

Motherhood: A High Calling From God

Sibling Rivalry: A Destructive Force Within The Christian Home

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