Summer is the time of wheels.  Little ones are learning to ride tricycles and old kids are tackling bikes with training wheels and then two wheelers.  As a parent, these transitions from one kind of bike to another are almost a rite of passage moment.

For some kids, this moving up to the next stage is pretty easy.  Our daughter learned to manage a two wheeler in a day by the simple strategy of falling off until she figured it out.  Our son, on the other hand, was much more cautious and it was a full summer of encouraging him and fearing we would have to make peace with more neighbours as he ran into parked cars instead of using his brakes.  But ultimately he did learn.

As parents, we always need to keep in mind that we are working ourselves out of a job.  We need to move our kids toward independence.  In the physical, social and emotional parts of our kids, we see the importance of growing independence. Spiritual independence can be more difficult to see. How do we encourage the most essential and most enduring part of our child?

One of the things that I have learned along the way with my kids is that it is almost impossible to teach someone something you don’t know.  So if we are going to be able to help our children find their way spiritually, we need to be sure we are growing in our own spiritual life.  And just like the physical area, spiritual growth needs to be fed and strengthened.  Where are you being fed spiritually?  Who is helping you to grow strong in faith?  For yourself and for your kids, you need to be growing and maturing to you can encourage them toward a solid life of faith as well.

“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment…” ~ 1 Peter 2:2  (NLT)