12 Ways to Build Spiritual Momentum Before Leaving Home
Students, the responsibility for the health of your soul is on you. Don’t just assume that you’ll be a mature Christian just because your parents are strong Christians. The reality is that during the ages of 17-18, most church kids fall off the map. 70% leave and only 20% return to the local church. Only 10% actually planned to leave the church.
These 12 tips assume that you’re reading the Bible. You personally have to pursue the Lord! Don’t depend on your parents and don’t depend on your church.
Honor & Obey Your Parents
First, we must remember that the Bible teaches us to honor our father and mother. The Old Testament, gospel accounts, and even Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus drive home what it looks like to honor our parents.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
“For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’” (Matt. 15:4)
“You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” (Mark 10:19)
Second, remember that we don’t get to define what the good life is — because God knows better than us! It might mean that we are put through a squeeze so that we can look more like Jesus. We must prayerfully consider God’s ultimate purpose for us is to glorify Him and become more like Jesus every day. Remember that Jesus as more satisfying than everything else!
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’” (Eph. 6:1-3)
How to Build Momentum in Godliness
1. Obey them
If your parents are teaching you to obey the words of God, then obey them!
Godly parents are the best discipleship tool you have at your disposal. Maximize your opportunity! Learn how to have meaningful conversations with your parents, not just listen or tune them out. Listen even when it seems like your parents are lecturing. Communicating well with your parents now will teach you to talk to other adults as well.
3. Take good notes
Take notes on what your parents are doing. You’re going to have kids before you know it! There is no such thing as a perfect dad or perfect parenting, but still, pay attention.
4. Be thankful
Learn how to be thankful! If you have parents that are even slightly involved in your life, then you’re a minority in the world. If they are also Christians, you’re in the smallest slice of our culture. Thank God for that! Tell your parents thanks.
5. Open up
Open up to your parents. Share what you’re learning and struggling with. You can be standing beside them as a Christian brother or sister in the family of God.
6. Spend time with them
You will never have this phase of life again. Don’t miss your chance to spend quality time with your pastors and your parents.
7. Pray for them and pray with them
Prayer is the ultimate tool we have in submitting ourselves to the Spirit of God. Open yourself up and admit that both you and your parents need the daily filling God’s Spirit to give you power for godliness.
8. Honor your parents
Darren Carlson has said that “Honoring generally means showing esteem or respect for a person. It also means to weigh or make heavy.” In Proverbs, honor is tied to humility and kindness. In Romans, it is tied to love. Respect your parents—don’t treat them the same way you treat your buddies. Honor and love them, inwardly and outwardly. Discipline your words, actions, and attitudes to glory the Father in the way you honor your parents. Respect them and their God-ordained role.
9. See God in your parents
Draw appropriate lines from your parents to God. Ephesians 3 calls fathers to serve as an example of Jesus to their wives, and God the Father to their kids. This is no small responsibility. Parents are supposed to be the best picture of God to their kids. If your parents are loving, then imitate them so that you can have a better picture of God’s love.
10. Get involved in a church
This is crucial for the next phase of your life. Wherever you go next, plugin and get involved. Don’t just show up and attend. Get involved in your youth group now, so that you know how to connect with and serve your future church.
11. Honor your parents in spite of differences
You’ll do some things differently than your parents, but you can still honor them. They love you anyway, and you need to honor them anyway.
12. Examine how you treat people in your family
Most likely, this will lay the foundation for how you treat people in God’s family later on — or in your future family. Learn how to treat people in God’s family in a biblical way.
Become Men & Women of God
This is the crux of the matter. Your goal must be to become a man or woman of God! You may have much momentum right now, but nobody can do this for you. You can’t live off another person’s quiet time. You’ve been given so much! Create a habit to study the Bible daily. You must abide in the Word of God! People don’t suddenly become mature simply by growing older. Don’t become so dependent on your family’s godliness that you forget how to pursue Jesus.
“May our sons in their youth be like plants full grown, our daughters like corner pillars cut for the structure of a palace.” (Psalm 144:12)
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
- Children are a reward to their parents.
- Picture of a man with his sons and daughters beside them. You can be standing side by side for the faith of the Gospel.
- Right now, you’re an arrow that has not yet been sent out. You’re about to be sent out by faithful warriors. Strike true, don’t waste the momentum Christ has given you.
Be confident that, if you have godly parents, they are praying for you. Your parents are in your corner but they also know their weaknesses. They know you need Jesus even more than you need them. Honor that biblical humility and responsibility, and walk in the joy of Christ as you move forward into maturity.