KEY THOT: Samuel’s growth was holistic—physically (“in stature”, the body), spiritually (“in favor with the Lord”, the spirit) and socially (“also with man”, the soul). Parenting is not just about taking care of the physical needs of our children—ensuring they eat right, drink right and wear right. Holistic parenting also focuses on their spiritual development—their walk with the Lord—plus their social development, their social intelligence quotient. A holistic and healthy home is one where all three areas are given equal emphasis: body, soul and spirit.
We cannot compartmentalize our children’s psycho-social development. As parents we cannot just focus on the physical development of our children but ignore their spiritual and social development. We ought to be as intentional in our parenting effort to develop the spiritual and social dimensions of our children as we are in the physical dimension to ensure that their “whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23).
We cannot be “hands-off” about our children spiritual development by giving them a “choice” about God and church, any more than we give them a choice whether to eat and drink. We insist they eat and drink healthy food and we don’t give them the choice—or they will get sick and eventually die. In the same way, as parents, we should exercise our parental authority over our children (as long as they are not married) to ensure that they do not neglect their spiritual/social development, even as we continue to pray and worry over their physical well-being—however, old they are.
Father, deliver us from a compartmentalized mindset, and fill us with wisdom from on high to continue to help our children become healthy and holistic persons whose whole body, soul and spirit are blameless at Your coming. Amen.