Although Scripture memorization, Bible study, and prayer are essential skills to teach, here are five additional guidelines homeschool parents should follow in their children's spiritual training to prepare them to face an unbelieving world after the cap and gown are stored away.
1. Lead Your Child to Christ
To stay strong spiritually as an adult, a young person must first admit he is a sinner in need of Christ as his Savior. More than completing Christian courses, attending church services, or saying and doing the right things, your child needs to repent and be "born again" (John 3:3) into a dynamic relationship with the living Lord (1 John 5:11-12). Directed by God's Word and the Holy Spirit, a young adult will be empowered to face temptations without losing his faith in the One who loves him most and the future plans He has for his life.
2. Toughen up Your Child's Faith
In today's society, young adults constantly face challenges to their Christian faith. In fact, they may even face hostility from peers and those in authority as they enter colleges or careers. As a result, many get intimidated or confused and fall away from what they believe. In fact, a 2010 Barna Group study reported that 65% of 18 to 30-year-old Christians rarely or never attend worship service or pray with others, and 67% don't read the Bible.
Because living for Christ puts one into a spiritual battle with the adversary (1 Peter 5:8), your child needs to be well-armed with the Bible's truths to counteract the world's lies. To help him hold fast to his beliefs, give him the "sword-of-the-spirit" tools (Ephesians 6:17) with an in-depth approach to Christian witnessing:
- • Let him examine historical evidence that proves Christ's existence.
• Show him positive and constructive responses to typical arguments against the Christian faith.
• Teach him how to effectively share his personal salvation experience.
• Role play and challenge him on why he believes what he believes.
3. Show Your Child How to Be a Servant
Many young adults today, including Christians, see the world revolving around them and their needs. To keep your child spiritually strong as an adult, pop his inflated ego by teaching him from a young age to selflessly serve others.
The best way to do that is to demonstrate servanthood yourself. Show your child how to help those around him with a loving mindset and explain that reflecting a loving character directs others toward Jesus. Remind him that no matter how small, acts of kindness are never overlooked by God. "And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:44-45).
4. Instruct Your Child in Money Management
One of the largest pitfalls in society today is the lack of teaching on biblical stewardship. Too many Christians fall into the trap of being "self-made men" who think their success is solely the result of their own hard work and intelligence. Teach your child early that what he has comes from God (James 1:7) and how to be responsible with the monetary gifts and possessions the Lord has given. Offer money management courses like the new Personal Financial Literacy for Monarch and Switched-On Schoolhouse and teach him to pray for God's will in all financial matters.
Like the lesson learned by the farmer in Luke 12, explain that life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. Money neither brings security or true happiness, and it's God who provides for all our needs in His time (Matthew 6:33). Using Scripture as your guide, show your child that budgeting, tithing, saving, debt-free living, and giving are all important to God.
5. Help Your Child Balance His Time
Juggling schedules is a fact of life as an adult. Like you, he needs to learn how to deal with the daily demands and responsibilities of home, work, church, and relationships. Teach your child the dangers of procrastination, laziness, and overworking, and replace them with practical time management skills that show him how to prioritize correctly with the Lord at the top of his list. "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).
In summary, once your child graduates from your homeschool, he will face a world full of new possibilities and challenges. Keep in touch, pray for him daily, and equip him with the love of Christ. As a parent and a teacher, you won't be able to control the future, but you can guide your child by showing him how to stay strong in Christ.
Already have adult children in your homeschool family? What spiritual preparation helped them the most after graduation?