Imagine with me for a moment that you have gone back several centuries in time, and that you are a noble in a king’s court. Your particular responsibility is to oversee the king’s children, so that when they are grown, they will know how to live their royal life in a way which brings honor to their family line and their kingdom.
Of course, you would see to it that the children were educated in all the knowledge available for that time period. For the young princes, you might instruct them in how to skillfully handle the weapons of war. You would make sure the princes and princesses were strong and physically fit, by getting exercise and healthy food. And you would teach them the fine points of elegant etiquette, protocol, and all the things which would go into carrying themselves with royal dignity.
It’s not that much different from what we should do with our modern-day sons and daughters, for indeed, they are royalty. Besides being ours, they are the children of the King of the universe. They need to be well taught in how the King’s sons and daughters should behave — to be conscious of who they are and walk out their position with great grace.
How can we help our children become conscious of their place in the royal family, and how can we prepare them for the responsibilities ahead? There is a lot to it, but let’s hit some of the highlights.
We start by building a consciousness of their royal heritage in them. We can do this by reading and explaining to them Bible passages which talk about being our heavenly Father’s sons and daughters.
Romans 8:15-17 is a good place to start. It tells us that, through Jesus, we are now God the Father’s adopted children. As such, we are full heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. We can explain to them that adopted children are not second-class family members. They are loved just as much as biological children, and they enjoy equal privileges. It is the same in God’s kingdom. Amazing, isn’t it?
In 1 John 3:1-3, the apostle John declared that we are different from the world around us, because we are the sons of God. He explains that because we are already sons, and will come into yet greater things when Jesus appears, we should prepare now for our future glory by purifying ourselves. He goes on, in 1 John 3:9, 10, to say that a supernatural change has taken place inside of us, so that it is as if we carry God’s royal DNA. Therefore, the children of God behave much differently from those who are not His own. They are “led by the Spirit,” according to Romans 8:14.
Study and discuss these passages with your children.
Build in them the concept of being servant royalty, not tyrants. There’s nothing worse to deal with than people who are spoiled and self-centered. They seem to think that the world revolves around their personal comforts, never stopping to think about the happiness of others. They trample people in the pursuit of getting what they want. We have certainly seen some kings / royal families on the earth who were like this. How unfortunate for the rest of mankind!
Servant royalty, on the other hand, are committed to using their position to better the lives of their fellow men. They are aware of their responsibility to lift up the weak and needy, rather than oppressing them.
Jesus is the best example of how to behave as a servant king. Use Matthew 20:25-28, John 13:1-7, and Philippians 2:3-15 as your textbook in teaching your children how to become servant royalty. In our home, we memorized that Philippians passage. (If you would like a ready-made Bible study which goes into greater detail, my book, Character Building for Families, Volume 1 has two units, Deference and Servanthood, which delve deeper into this topic.)
In our next post, we’ll look at more ways to instruct our children in the royal lifestyle.
Next — Part 2