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4 Ways to Be a Better Adult for the Children in Your Life

4 Ways to Be a Better Adult for the Children in Your Life

4 Ways to Be a Better Adult for the Children in Your Life

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” - Proverbs 22:6

Youth look to surrounding adults for an example of how to react, behave, work, live and love. They look to their mentors for support and encouragement and lean into their coaches and extracurricular advisors to help them discover and work at their gifts and talents. We, as adults, can love them well by establishing healthy habits and principles in our own lives.

1. Make Your Relationship with God a Priority

1. Make Your Relationship with God a Priority

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16

The number one thing we can do to be better adults for the children in our lives is to seek Christ with all of our hearts. We cannot pour into them if we are running on empty, and there is no shortcut around God’s command to put Him first. When we make time to spend with God in prayer and in the study of His Word, we are better equipped to face the day ahead of us before we even know what it holds. For those around children, we need to fuel up with the grace of God daily, for we never know what they will ask or demand of us.

Jesus made prayer, and time with His Father, a priority. So should we. God is faithful to fill our hearts to the brim so we can pour out love on all of the people He places in our lives. Our quiet time with God shouldn’t be legalistic but driven out of a fascination for who He is. He doesn’t need us to meet with Him every day. He doesn’t shake His fist at us when we let our Bibles collect dust. Nor does He cast us out and turn His back on us when we run for the hills in rebellion. But, if we want to be better adults for the children in our lives, we have to become intimately acquainted with the Author of our hearts. That starts with prayer and time in God’s Word.

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2. Seek Out Mentorship

2. Seek Out Mentorship

“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.” Proverbs 9:9

Parents need other parents who have survived the journey. Those working in children’s and youth ministry benefit from the wisdom of those who have collected years of experience. Wives and husbands drink in advice from older couples faithfully traveling the long and winding road of marriage. We all need mentors. To lead our children well, it helps if we are led well. Seek mentorship. There are a handful of people in this life who God has used to sharpen my faith. The wisdom I’ve gleaned from their obedient and faithful, but far from perfect, lives gives me courage and confidence to trust God’s leading in my own life. Great mentors inspire us to be better adults for the children in our lives.

A good place to find mentors is within the walls of our local church ministries. God teaches us abundantly more when we serve Him. We witness God connect the community He purposefully placed us into the purpose He has for our lives. I thank God for the people who have pulled me out of the proverbial Sunday pew and given me a volunteer t-shirt. It has changed my life. It has made me a better adult. There is room for everyone, and places for all to serve God. We are made to seek Him and to serve others. It brings us incredibly close to our great God, and it makes us better adults for the children in our lives.

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3. Get Involved in the Local Church

3. Get Involved in the Local Church

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, the prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve, if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” - Romans 12:6-8

The local church ministry is a great place to discover and use the unique gifts God has given us. When children witness us serving as a part of the local community, it can ignite a spark in them to do the same. Whether it is helping with a food bank, greeting people at the door, serving in children’s ministry, on the worship team or helping out behind the scenes, faith in action speaks loudest to children. The best way we can teach them how to love others …is to love others. 

I love the imperfect lot of crazy people He’s put in my life to serve Him alongside! Walking into the community with them week after week, with the goal of loving others for Jesus, is the coolest and most life-giving way to live. It truly is better to give than to receive. When we do, we can reduce the selfish tone of the world ringing in the earbuds of youth, and amplify the loving purpose of God for us …to love Him, and one another. It makes us better adults for the children in our lives, when they see us as moving parts in the church body. 

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4. Listen to, Ask Questions of, and Make Time for Children

4. Listen to, Ask Questions of, and Make Time for Children

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

Elementary, Junior High, and High School kids are living in a world most adults cannot… and should not… pretend to understand. Being a better adult for them means being an extremely patient listener. It helps to ask questions, and encourage them to be curious about life, and their faith. Meet them where they are at in life. Whether it’s our kids, or youth we mentor, showing up for their sports games and stepping into their world makes them feel like they matter.

Early on in youth ministry, I became discouraged if only a few kids showed up. Now, I get excited about what God must have on His heart for those few… or sometimes that one… I get to spend Sunday morning with. When I first started to lead youth worship teams, I felt like a failure if I couldn’t control the chaos. When I learned to let go of every rule that didn’t need to be enforced as a safety concern, lives literally changed before my eyes. Including my own. Youth need space to be themselves. They yearn for people who love them for who they are.

Make time for children. Make time for youth. When we set aside our Sunday mornings to serve, God honors every bit of our efforts. Each time we intentionally invest in those coming up behind us, or put in our care, we operate as a channel of God’s love. If we can hold these basic principles and habits true in our lives, we will be better adults for the children in them. 


\Meg Bucher writes about everyday life within the love of Christ as an author, freelance writer and blogger at Sunny&80. Her first book, “Friends with Everyone,”  is available on amazon.com. She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay at home and raise her two daughters. Besides writing, she leads a Bible Study for Women and serves as a Youth Ministry leader in her community. She lives in Northern Ohio with her husband, Jim, and two daughters.

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