A Pastor’s Ponderings: Back to School – 7 Spiritual Truths to Instill in Your Children

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Doug Stauffer head shot 2023By Doug Stauffer, Pastor, Faith Independent Baptist Church

With the 2023-2024 school year in full swing, parents and teachers have bought their supplies, arranged schedules and attended orientation sessions. Amidst all the bustle, focusing on some deeper life lessons is crucial as they serve as a moral compass for children. In a recent sermon, I explored seven pivotal spiritual principles rooted in the rich soil of Judeo-Christianity. These principles not only bolster character, but also provide a compass that can guide children in school and throughout their lives.

1. The Importance of Divine Creation: School curriculums may teach theories of evolution and the Big Bang, but it’s important to counterbalance this by instilling in your children that they are God’s special creation, created with purpose and talents (Daniel 1:17; Genesis 1:27). This foundation not only strengthens self-worth, but also infuses life with a sense of divine purpose that scientific theories such as abiogenesis and survival of the fittest fail to deliver.

2. Understanding God and America’s Heritage: Teach your children about the Judeo-Christian heritage that shaped America. In a world that often sees the concept of a Creator as old-fashioned, children must know that they are purposefully made (Daniel 6:10; Psalm 139:14). By grounding their identity in faith, they will be better prepared to defend their beliefs and answer questions about their hope (1 Peter 3:15).

3. Learning to Trust in God: As your children navigate life’s challenges, remind them that God is involved in human endeavors (Daniel 2:21; Proverbs 3:5). Several scriptures assure that trusting in God will guide them through all of life’s circumstances (Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 29:11). Encouraging a balanced spiritual life can impart to them an unshakeable peace, even in the face of adversity.

4. Choosing Friends Wisely: The company your children keep can either uplift or undermine their moral fabric (Proverbs 13:20; 1 Corinthians 15:33). The Psalmist pointed out that he surrounded himself with those who share his faith. “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts” (Psalm 119:63). The right relationships offer mutual spiritual support and enrichment.

5. The Virtue of Diligence: Encourage your children to give their best in all they do, not for worldly acclaim but to glorify God (Colossians 3:23; Ecclesiastes 9:10). The principle of doing one’s best “as unto the Lord” can serve as a guiding framework throughout their lives, in academics, relationships, or career choices.

6. The Courage to Stand Alone: Life will present situations where your children must stand alone in their convictions, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:14-18). This courage to uphold their beliefs, even under peer pressure or threats, is an invaluable life skill. Scriptures reiterate that God will fight their battles when they stand alone in their faith (Exodus 14:14). Teach them that standing alone with God is not solitude—it’s spiritual fortitude.

7. The Path Back from the Pit: Lastly, remind your children that making mistakes is a universal human experience, but the gifts of repentance and forgiveness are ever-present (Luke 15:18-19). The moving narrative of the Prodigal Son illustrates the transformative power of family reunification. This story shows that even when we lose our way, a loving reunion with God and family remains our best option.

Imparting these spiritual principles is more than just instilling a religious edification; they are tools for forging resilient, thoughtful individuals who can gracefully handle the world’s complexities. So, as we continue the back-to-school season, let’s not overlook these foundational teachings that will fortify your children for a lifetime. Invest now to insure a profitable reaping in the future.

Dr. Doug Stauffer is pastor of Faith Independent Baptist Church. He was saved July 6, 1980, in Niceville, while stationed at the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base and has now been in the ministry for over 35 years. He has written 20 books including the best selling “One Book” trilogy (“One Book Rightly Divided, One Book Stands Alone, One Book One Authority”); along with several devotionals (“Daily Strength” series); and prophecy books (“Reviving the Blessed Hope, When the End Begins”).