This morning as I was cleaning up, I happened to open my son’s Bible. I’m not sure if he devised this system, or got it from another Bible class or teacher, but I am thrilled to see that my son is studying and marking in his Bible in his own way… a way that makes sense to him.
In our family today, we typically read one Proverb in the morning at Breakfast as a family. Sometimes we sing a hymn, and always, we say a prayer before the family parts ways for the day. I still remember that my mother gave us a scripture reading every evening, the last thing before we children fell asleep. She sat on the hope chest in the hallway outside of my brother’s and my bedrooms, reading and then saying a short prayer before coming in to each of our bedrooms to kiss us goodnight. That memory is precious to me.
When it comes to faith (and many other aspects of life), I believe that we, as parents hold the most power to encourage our children’s faith. The bible instructs in Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
Do you talk to your children about God? I know that it can be intimidating, especially when they ask “those” questions, the ones that come out of nowhere and you have no idea how to answer! But just including your faith and thoughts about our Creator can help your kids realize how “Real” God is to you. Some of my childhood friends noticed that my own Mother had very caring and kind ways. She always welcomed anyone into our home after school, and often there were extra seats pulled up to the table at the evening meal. We routinely prayed as a family at dinnertime, and often my friends would comment later that it was “weird” for them. But my mother expected guests to fold their hands and bow their heads before any food was served, thus participating in the prayer.
Looking back, I love that now. It was her way of proclaiming that God was very real for her. It was also her method of teaching that God should be praised, and thanked for the food provided, and for all of His blessings. She opened the door for our friends to ask about Jesus later, too.
We have read some books that have helped to explain why faith is so important when doubts arise. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis has been most beneficial, as well as Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith. When I recommend these readings to kids, I always tell them that both Mr. Lewis and Mr. Strobel were strongly confirmed athiests who came to faith after they searched rigorously and honestly about the origin’s of God.
Talking about God to your children may not be the most comfortable thing to do, if you are not accustomed to doing so, but it can eventually be the thing that bonds you closely in the area that is most important: eternal life and the way to God’s heart.
Blessed are the children whose parents share their faith in God with them. Faith truly is ‘the gift that keeps on giving,’ forever! Think about that, our kids are eternal souls and we have been given life with them for only a short time! If you as a parent still feel hesitating to introduce your faith to your children, or anyone, I recommend a book by Dr. Alex McFarland, an expert in Apologetics.
The book is entitled, The 21 Toughest Questions Your Kids Will Ask about Christianity: & How to Answer Them Confidently. Dr. McFarland provides parents with easy to use discussion strategies that will help them share Christ with their children intellectually and spiritually.
Despite my imperfections, I will never stop striving to make the Lord more visible in my everyday life, and especially in light of what my children (and hear) see of me. Modeling my faith is a matter of the highest importance to me. I hope I motivate some other parents in some way to desire to be more visible as Christ followers with the Spirit of God working through themselves, creating many opportunities to share faith with children and others.