Living Life Wholly

Living Life Wholly

March 2, 2024

Bible Verse

“Don't get so angry that you sin. Don't go to bed angry and don't give the devil a chance.” (CEV)  Ephesians 4:26-27

In today’s devotional, we talked about living a holy life: specifically how we need to guard ourselves from temptation by controlling our anger and forgiving people who hurt us. But there is so much more to holy living than just avoiding sin and forgiving others, and as parents, we want to teach our children to teach our children to be holy the way God is holy (Leviticus 19:2). This means we point our kids to Jesus at every turn.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul urges us to use him as a role model in the same way he uses Christ as a role model (1 Corinthians 11:1). Our children learn the same way, too. They follow our example. Repetition matters. Consistency matters.

How to Live a Holy Life

How do we teach our children to walk with the Lord in all parts of their lives? Through prayer, Bible study, praise, and service.

  1. Pray Continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17): Recently, I was given a copy of Every Moment Holy by Douglas Kaine McKelvey. This book is filled with prayers for many different situations, from changing diapers to competing in a sports event to starting or finishing a book. These are all moments we can lift up to God with our children.

  2. Talk About Him (Deuteronomy 6:6-9): In the book Giving Your Words, Sally and Clay Clarkson discuss how parents use their words to shape their children’s lives through the ARTS method:
    1. Ask: Ask an open-ended question to start a conversation that will naturally lead to the Bible passage you want to discuss.

    2. Read: Read (or recite if you’re driving) the verses.

    3. Talk: Talk about the verse and how it relates to the opening question and other areas of their lives.

    4. Speak: Spend time praying about what you learned.

  3. Praise Him (Psalm 92): Take time throughout the day to celebrate what God has done for you. Or give him a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15) by doing your best when washing the dishes together or helping your children with their homework (Colossians 3:17) and by teaching your children to do the same.

  4. Serve Him (1 Peter 4:8-11): As your children grow and discover their talents and what activities they like (for example, playing on a drumline, learning a second language, or participating in science club), encourage them to use those gifts and passions to serve God and others.

The Balance Beam of Life

Imagine your children walking along a street curb or narrow balance beam. At first, they’re wobbly and keep slipping off the edge until they learn to put their arms out for balance, and then they can do it. Teaching our children to live holy lives is the same as teaching them to put their arms out for balance: it doesn’t get in the way of them doing what they love; it makes it easier when they do them both simultaneously.

As Christians, we are called to live life holy and are invited to live it wholly. We don’t have to give up our jobs, sports, or fun to serve Christ faithfully. Every aspect of our lives is a moment we can offer to the Lord. And we can teach our children to do the same even when we’re on the way home from hockey or on the way to violin lessons. That way, they can stand firm no matter when the temptation comes.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Why Should I Forgive?

Christina Van Starkenburg

Christina Van Starkenburg

Christina Van Starkenburg is an award-winning freelance writer and author of The Key Thief and One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and exploring the world with her husband and three kids. Visit her at to read more.

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