Summary: Each season of life brings it’s own unique tests from God. Here’s how to pass some of those we come across in the first season of life, birth to young adulthood.
What advice does the Bible have for passing the tests we face in the first season of life?
PART A - CHILDHOOD
1. GET ON WITH YOUR PARENTS
One of the first and greatest tests we face in life is how to get along with our parents. The Bible is very clear about how children should relate to their parents …
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Obedience sounds like a real drag, but let me explain why following this advice will make your life so much more enjoyable.
First, we obey our parents because it’s simply the right way around. It’s the way God designed it to be. Imagine if this verse said, “Parents obey your children?” That wouldn’t be fair on you as children, to make all the decisions without the years of experience or knowledge to make them. Even your parents struggle to make the best decisions sometimes. It wouldn’t be right. The right order of things (the way God has created it), is that children should obey their parents, not vice-versa. And one of the reasons God made it that way is because your parents have already traveled the road you’re on in life, they know what you’re going through and they can often help you through it.
Obeying our parents also pleases God. The Ten Commandments tell us to:
"Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 5:16).
To ‘honor’ our parents means much more than just obedience. It means we must respect them, love them, care for them for as long as they need us, and to seek to bring honor to them in the way we live. The way you behave reflects on your parents. The Bible says …
"Children who mistreat their father or chase away their mother are an embarrassment and a public disgrace." (Proverbs 19:26)
If you behave badly people will think your parents are bad parents, and if you behave well, people will respect your parents and your family.
Finally, back in Deuteronomy 5:16 it says that we should honour our parents … “so that you may live long and that it may go well for you …” God loves you and he wants your life to go well. So he made this promise to you – that if you obey your parents (even when it’s hard to do so), then he will ensure that things go well for you.
It’s one of the tests we face in the first season of life; getting along with our parents. Some people face this challenge later in life too, but if we can sort this out in the first season it is more likely to go well in the next season of life.
2. DEVELOP GOOD HABITS
Childhood is also the perfect time to develop some good habits too. Here’s three that the Bible points to …
a) Daily Devotions – Prayer, Bible reading, Worship
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (Psalm119:9).
The Bible is more than a list of rules. It’s the story of how God created us, loves us and communicates with us. It reveals God’s plan for our lives, His laws and His promises. So reading the Bible is the best possible way to find out what that plan is and jump on board with it.
On top of that we should talk to God everyday; we should pray. In prayer you can tell God anything. You can tell him your doubts, your worries, your fears, your hopes. Tell Him how good He is. Thank Him for what He’s done in your life. Ask him for things you need. Confess when you’ve done wrong.
You don’t have to use special words. Just talk to Him! It’s a good habit to start while you’re young.
b) Giving and serving
Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it. (1 John 3:18)
If we really love people we will do more than just talk about it, we will do something about it.Little acts of service show that we care. And giving to meet the needs of the poor and to grow his kingdom, is a habit that pleases God.
d) Speaking about your faith
Witnessing to others shows that we don’t just care about their physical needs in the here and now, but that we care about their soul as well; that we care about their eternal destination too. The Bible says …