Have you noticed lately that the world is becoming notably less tolerant of our Biblical beliefs? Moral relativism and immoral perspectives are not creeping, but charging, into our communities, public education system, and even into our churches. Soon our children and grandchildren are going to be on the front lines. It is our job to prepare them. It’s our job to be raising godly leaders.
Coming from a corporate background prior to marriage, kids, and homeschooling, I’ve always had an interest in leadership. But there’s a difference between training leaders in the marketplace and raising godly leaders at home.
And as Christian parents we not only want to raise leaders; we want to raise godly leaders. And especially as homeschool moms, we have a responsibility and particular opportunity to raise godly leaders. Godly leaders who will be the light in an increasingly dark world.
I know it’s a lot to ask harried homeschool moms, already struggling to get in the academic basics while keeping all of the other plates spinning, too. But it’s crucial that we look at the big picture and intentionally raise our children to be godly leaders. The world desperately needs them!
Part of raising godly leaders is providing lifegiving homeschooling to our children. What is that, you ask? Lifegiving homeschooling:
- is based on a Biblical worldview.
- helps you raise godly generations.
- uses a curriculum that supports your biblical values.
- helps your children have a vision that God made them for something special (keep reading to see how to do this).
So let’s talk about how to raise godly leaders in the context of lifegiving homeschooling.
So, how do we go about raising godly leaders? Here are 6 tips:
1. Teach the Word daily, model integrity, and teach sound theology.
- Men and women who are godly leaders have integrity. Integrity is moral uprightness; displaying strong principles based on truth. Without daily teaching of the Truth, your children will not know how to recognize it from the falsehoods constantly bombarding them from the news, social media, television, and popular music.
- Train your children to have excellent character.
- When an integrity issue comes up, put the books away, and deal with it immediately. There are some non-negotiables when it comes to behavior, and integrity is one of them.
- As Christian parents, hold yourselves to the same standard and remember that you have little ears and eyes listening and watching. And when you are at fault for something – apologize. Just as they are accountable to us, we are accountable to God. And humbling yourself works wonders with children… especially when they are in their teens. It encourages tender hearts toward you if you can put aside your pride and offer your kids grace. I know this from experience because I had to apologize often to my kids!
Teach your children sound theology from an early age.
Along with studying the Bible, please teach your children a catechism and practice hymn singing in your home.
Even from an early age, your kids can learn the basics of the reformed, Christian faith from the New City Catechism. While you’re at it, download the New City Catechism mobile app and listen with your littles to the New City Catechism put to music. My oldest grandson dubbed these as “God songs” when he was three. You can use the Westminster Shorter Catechism when your children are a little older.
Your kids may not fully understand the answers to the questions, but they will have an answer. The catechism questions and answers will give your children a framework you can build on as they get older.
2. Keep your eyes on the big picture: share your vision for your children with them from an early age.
Teach your sons and daughters that they are made in God’s image and that He has given them unique strengths and special talents. Teach them that God gives us our strengths and talents to accomplish great things for His kingdom. Share with your children often how excited you are about them and how you can’t wait to see those special gifts and talents develop as they grow up.
Identify and reinforce these gifts and talents as they appear, because they will!
Through encouragement, we want to inspire our children to be godly leaders and be the light to those around them who don’t know Christ.
3. Train your children to have sound physical and mental habits.
Probably because my husband and I lived so far away from our parents, we had no clue how to raise children! Then we moved to the South where children and parents’ roles are very well-defined, and we learned the secret: You train them to have good habits.
As Charlotte Mason wrote:
“The habits of the child produce the character of the man . . .every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend.”
Habits are skills that are cultivated in our children by training, repetition, and accountability. Character is molded through habit training.
4. Read and discuss stories that show children as godly leaders.
If you are using a literature-based homeschool curriculum (and I hope you are!), read historical fiction and literature with characters who demonstrate the leadership traits you would like to see in your children, such as:
- responsibility for self and others
- showing initiative
- willingness to be self-sacrificing
- being teachable
- resistance to peer pressure
- willingness to tackle difficult problems with a positive attitude
Especially during your read-aloud times with your children, teach them to look for these character traits. Discuss them! Also, ask your children to consider and evaluate the character of the people in the literature they are reading independently. Discuss how good character led to specific outcomes in the story. And how poor character led to different outcomes.
5. As you study history and current events, regularly point out and discuss examples of excellent and poor leadership. Especially godly leadership and what a difference it makes.
History is full of examples of leadership and good character, as well as their opposites! If you use a Charlotte Mason-inspired, literature-based homeschool curriculum, you have the perfect opportunity to set a feast of heroic characters before your children on a regular basis. Choose books with plenty of examples of great men and women of the past. And in your discussions and assignments, compare and contrast them with others, as we do in our high school course, World History I, subtitled Lessons in Leadership.
Make sure to include the study of great missionaries of the past and present
Talk about leadership as you learn about the incredible missionaries of the past and present! These brave men and women have often given up comfortable homes, family fellowship, and much, much more to travel to faraway, difficult, and even dangerous places to bring the good news to people who don’t know Jesus. Read biographies on Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Corrie Ten Boom, Brother Andrew, William Carey, Adoniram and Ann Judson, and Jim and Elisabeth Elliot… Talk about how they exhibited leadership in their willingness to sacrifice for others, be brave in the face of danger, and share the gospel day after day, year after year, through their service to others.
Look at Current Leaders
Additionally, don’t wait until your kids are old enough to vote to discuss local and national candidates for public office. Talk about the jobs candidates are campaigning for. Also, consider the candidates’ track record and experience. Identify leadership experience within their backgrounds, and talk about who would be the best candidate.
The newspaper and other media are full of articles of both exemplary and poor leaders. Draw their attention to these articles. And help your middle school and high school students to identify these differences in discussions.
6. Give your children opportunities to practice leadership inside and outside the home.
From being responsible for their own belongings at home, teach your kids to be responsible for pets, chores, and their own school books. Let them be responsible for a family event, such as a service project, teaching them to plan, anticipate, organize, and communicate with others what their roles will be. Or give them a small garden to research, plan, plant, weed, and harvest. Encourage industriousness and entrepreneurship. (Or give your younger child one plant to take care of.)
Let older children be responsible for helping to teach younger children at home, as well as helping teach Sunday School, Youth Group, or Vacation Bible School at church. Your high school students might even be a part of the church choir. Help your older students move into community service. They might as spearhead a neighborhood or road clean-up project. Or even bake and deliver cookies for your librarians on National Library Day.
And please encourage your high school students to earn all or part of the money for their own activities, rather than just handing money over like so many other parents do.
Unfortunately, this happened regularly with two of my son’s friends, and it made me crazy! But our firm stance on this issue reaped many benefits since that time. We were so proud of our son (and his new wife) for paying off his graduate school loans in such a short time when so many people nowadays just blow off school loans.
Additionally, let your high school student make his own appointments. Does he need to go to the dentist? Call the doctor’s office to get a refill on a prescription? Look for a summer job? Please don’t do those things for him. Let him do them himself. And warn your middle schoolers that when they get into high school, they’ll be taking care of these kinds of tasks for themselves.
We owe it to our children to prepare them to live in the world they will be facing in just a few short years. And they must be mature, steadfast, and well-grounded to be who they were designed to be. So start early!
So what are you doing to encourage godly leadership in your children?
If you’d like to learn more about how to bring your kids’ homeschool education to life, click on the graphic below.
Teach your children to be the light to those around them by raising godly leaders!