Raising a Good Citizen

Give your children a proper understanding of citizenship

As Christians, have we forgotten what it means to raise a good citizen?  Does God’s word suggest that we shouldn’t be concerned about raising good citizens?  Is heavenly citizenship all that matters?  After all, God’s word declares, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…” Philippians 3:20

In order to answer those questions, we first need to understand the context of Paul’s declaration to the church of Philippi.  In full context we learn that Paul was speaking in reference to those who have a “destiny of destruction” and those whose “god is their stomach”.  He was speaking about people who only focus on worldly things (sin).  He was not declaring that our national citizenship is unimportant.  Rather, he was declaring that our relationship with God and our future in heaven is more important than our own selfish ambitions.

Paul didn’t abandon his national citizenship.  “The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”  “Yes, I am,” he answered.” Acts 22:27

We shouldn’t be ashamed of our national citizenship either.  In fact, we should celebrate the fact that we have dual citizenship as heirs of the kingdom of God and citizens of the United States of America.  And as citizens of this nation we need the Lord.  Our children should have this same understanding of a national dependence on God.  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. “ Psalm 33:12

Teach your children about God’s purpose for government

Here are five things all kids should know about government and God’s purpose for it.

  1. God established government (Romans 13:1)
  2. Respect lawful authority (Romans 13:2)
  3. Government was established for our good (Romans 13:4)
  4. Obey God as opposed to unlawful authority (Acts 5:29)
  5. Pray for those in authority and pursue peace (1 Timothy 2:2)

Children can grow up to become more productive citizens when they have a strong understanding of God’s purpose in establishing government.

Tell your children the truth

Yes, tell your children the truth about our broken world.  Share the good and the bad.  However, it is important to only share with them what they are prepared to handle based on their level of maturity and spiritual growth.  We give children a smaller dose of medicine, because their bodies can’t handle as much medicine as adults can.  In the same way, we should give our children small doses of information regarding current events, tragedies, etc.  You are responsible for protecting your child’s heart.

Teach your children to go to God’s word for the answers to the issues facing our nation.  Your children won’t get the answers or the encouragement they need by watching the news.  They need you to teach them.  Be a good example to your children.  Vote!  And vote for candidates that live for Christ.  Be a good steward of the freedom God has given you.

Do your children know about the history of our nation and how this government is supposed to function?  Do they understand God’s word as it relates to government?


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