Are You Shaping Your Kids to Do God’s Work Right Now…Or Just Preparing Them for When They Grow Up?

Wynter Pitts | Christian Mom ThoughtsI’m excited today to feature a guest post from Wynter Pitts, founder of For Girls Like You Magazine, a ministry to girls (age 6-11) and their parents.

Do you remember being 9, 10 or 11 years old?

I do.

It seems like a lifetime ago. Probably because, in my case, it was!

I have vague memories of lining my “babies” along the living room wall and yelling out names as I “took roll” and set up my classroom. I was convinced that I was going to be a teacher…when I grew up.

I remember following my brother around the house and basically doing anything I could think of to get on his nerves more than I did the day before.  This is how I showed him how much I adored him!

I remember dressing up in beautifully colored, intricate pieces of fabric while collecting dimes to raise money for missionaries in Guatemala.

I remember my mother loading us up in a big yellow boat with wheels for day trips to New York City, youth group Bible studies, overnight camps, Sunday services and weekday revivals. I would sit in awe and pray that one day God could use me the way He was using the people that took the stage.

It never fully dawned on me that the great big God of the universe was capable of using me right then, as a little girl, collecting dimes, hanging out with friends at camp and sitting in my living room.

He was. He does. He is.

Today, as an adult, this concept has become vividly clear to me as I raise four daughters of my own.

What decisions would I have made had I realized that I didn’t need to wait until I was “grown up” to reach my potential of being someone whom God could use?

According to Luke 2, when Jesus was just a boy (age 12), Mary and Joseph thought they lost him. After searching for him for three days, they found him in the temple listening, learning and teaching. When they found him, Jesus replied: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke 2:49 (NIV)

Jesus was a boy who knew he had to be about Kingdom business.

God’s work does not begin when we grow up. God wants us to raise children that are about His business from childhood into adulthood.

What memories will your kids have? Are they aware that they are not only capable, but are designed to be the one that God uses…even now at age 6, 9, or 12?

We often look at and raise our kids according to the values and principles we would ultimately like to see them possess as adults. Rightly so. However, in doing this, I fear we often overlook the idea that God has plans for our children right now…as children.

Two years ago, after a series of unsuccessful attempts to find a safe, Christ-focused form of encouragement and entertainment for my budding tween daughter, I began a journey to create what has now become a print magazine and ministry to young girls and their parents. Amongst the many things I’ve learned on this journey, it has become vividly clear that God uses children.

Meet a few young girls who are hanging out in the temple, doing their Father’s business! These young ladies are committed to stepping out, standing up, and living a radical life for Christ.

They are committed to “being the one.”

Girly Me Missions

This is a group of 12 friends (ages 10-13) who create and make crafts to raise money to help orphan care in Uganda through Project Hope Worldwide! Each girl pitches in to make a variety of goods to sell at community fairs, online and other venues. The group co-sponsors a little five year-old girl named Nelly who lives at Calo Me Lare. In addition, this past year they were able to raise enough money to buy nine baby cribs for a baby’s home called Arise.

Girly Me Missions | Christian Mom Thoughts

Elyana Riddick

Elyana is 11 years old and has made radical decisions to show that she is dedicated to being one that God can use. While preparing for an upcoming cheer competition, Elyana found herself facing a huge dilemma concerning the uniform for the team. She felt the uniform was too revealing and chose to “say no” to wearing it. She knew as a Christian girl she had to stand up and be the example of Christ to her friends!

Elyana Riddick | Christian Mom Thoughts

Ukulele Mandi

Mandi is 10 years old and can be found playing the ukulele and singing about God’s love at various venues, including talent shows, local restaurants and leading worship at her church!  She is committed to telling others about God’s love through her music! She recently released her first EP, Happy.

Ukulele Mandi | Christian Mom Thoughts

So what about the 8-year-old sitting on the couch next to you at this very moment, the 11-year-old helping her little brother tie his shoe, and the 6-year-old who has been begging to bake cookies for her new classmate and his family? Are you preparing them to “be the one?”

The one who stands out. The one who doesn’t just do what’s comfortable and safe, but does what makes a difference and matters to Christ.

Here are 3 tips to prepare your kids to “be the one.”

1. Expose them to radical living and thinking.

  • Encourage your kids to befriend the not-so-popular kids at school, like the girl who sits alone at lunchtime or the boy who gets teased during gym.
  • When there are opportunities to show your kids what Christ looks like, take them with you! Research community/church projects in your area and make time to serve together as a family.
  • Show them the value of helping others, whether it’s donating funds to a missionary overseas or reading a book to a younger sibling.
  • Prepare meals as a family to take to an ill neighbor or to a friend “just because.”

2. Take them seriously.

If your child has an idea to start a lemonade stand or make duct tape bookmarks for a special cause, help them follow through.

If they say they would like to invite a neighbor or a stranger to church, encourage them to!

3. Don’t lower the bar.

Study God’s word together and teach them how to apply it to their everyday situations. In times of joy, fear, disobedience or encouragement, find scriptures that apply.

Help them learn to be different.  They need to learn early that choosing to be like Christ will not always be popular, and will often come with challenges.

I want my girls to be radical life changers for Christ – today and tomorrow, don’t you?

___________________________________________________________________________________

Wynter Pitts is the editor and founder of For Girls Like You Magazine, a ministry to girls (age 6-11) and their parents, which includes a quarterly print magazine, journal, and other print and web resources. Visit www.forgirlslikeyou.com for more information. Follow Wynter on Twitter (@forgirlslikeyou) and on Facebook for encouragement and fun as we strive to raise a generation of God’s girls!

Wynter appears on ibelieve.com as a frequent blogger and is a contributor for Lifeway’s HomeLife Magazine.  She is also the proud wife of Jonathan and mom of FOUR little girls!

All photos and stories are courtesy of For Girls Like You Magazine.

11 Comments

  1. Rosann on April 2, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Wynter, it’s so nice to “meet” you here in Natasha’s space. I really loved reading this. As I think of my own daughters age 7 and 4 I know I’ve witnessed multiple times as they’ve ministered God’s truth to anyone willing to listen. Even their non-religious uncles. I can easily see God using them for Kingdom purposes throughout their childhood and appreciate the suggestions you offered for me to come alongside them and encourage that path. 🙂



    • Wynter Evans Pitts on April 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Nice to meet you too! Thank you for your comment. I love how bold little ones are when it comes to witnessing and sharing God’s truth!



  2. Michelle Murray on April 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM

    I LOVE this post!! Kids need to learn about, see, and do missions. I love the examples of ‘real’ girls making ‘real’ moves for God! My daughters subscribe to “For Girls LIke You,” and they enjoy every issue! Thank you for your passion and ministry!!

    My sister and I designed a book to help kids with the concepts of serving, evangelizing, and encouraging (info on website if you’re interested!), because we want our kids to be missional now, not ‘when they grow up!’ 🙂



    • Wynter Evans Pitts on April 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      Hi! I will check it out! Thanks for commenting and for your encouraging words about the magazine! Blessings to you and those girls!



  3. Michelle on April 2, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    I love this and it really got me thinking. One thing I have noticed, though… I have seen a ton of ministries and bible studies geared for tween age girls but virtually nothing for tween age boys. Does anyone have any suggestions?



    • Wynter Evans Pitts on April 2, 2013 at 12:20 PM

      Hi- I am so sorry! I get asked all the time about something for boys but that is so far my territory! lol! I do know of one resource for boy moms by Dannah Gresh- How to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy-maybe check that out!



  4. Jennifer on April 2, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    I just wanted to point out that in Luke 2, Jesus wasn’t actually teaching; the passage says he was listening and asking questions. I had always thought he was teaching too, but a few months ago, my husband and I were re-reading this and discovered that he wasnt. And I think asking questions, as Jesus did in that passage is what childhood is all about. As parents it’s our job to foster that natural curiousity and build their faith through studying the Word together. I think it’s wonderful when children have opportunities to serve others, but i feel that studying God’s Word and learning the ins and outs of our faith should be the focus in childhood since acts of service should be really only an extension or outward sign of our faith and belief. Again, I think it’s great when children serve others, but (and maybe this is particular to the circles I run in), sometimes I feel like there’s an overemphasis on acts of service, even to the exclusion of teaching the child the basics of Christianity. Services becomes something we do “because God wants us to”, rather than being the result of mature faith. Thanks for sharing. 🙂



    • Wynter Evans Pitts on April 2, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Thanks so much for your comment! I couldn’t agree with you more! The goal is not to get our kids focused on “doing” but rather encouraging them to “live” a life that stands out and makes a difference for Christ in their everyday lives..! 🙂



  5. Lauren on April 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Thanks so much for guest-writing! I have a little girl right now who is 8 months old. I pray that she will give her life to Christ at a young age. These were some very good pieces of advice that I will be applying in her life. Daniel and his three friends were also very young when they were used by God , as was Samuel. God is not discriminate of age in His purposes.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Lauren, RunHoly.com



  6. Christopher Julian Williams on April 4, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Wynter, you are always so Inspirational. Thank you for your obedience and praying you will continue to be creative, to encourage and inspire moms and young girls all over the world. You are so right when you say God is calling our kids “NOW” into HIS service. God told Jeremiah, “Don’t say, I’m too young…” Jer 2:7. God chose Jeremiah to do something “NOW”…. Thanking God for your article. Your family is a BLESSING!!! IN HIM, Chris 🙂



  7. sepia gladden on November 21, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    Blessings Wynter, i loved reading the article and agree 100% I have raised my girls liberty and glory in the way and they are making an impact now at 10 and 11 just authored their first poetry book with another one written. Do visit their site http://www.libertyandglory.com