Passing My Faith Down To My Children

Just the other day…a friend from college called me up, asking for advice with her kids. She said something like, “You seem to be great at passing your faith along to your children, so I wanted to pick your brain a little bit and find out what you do.”  I definitely believe that passing along my faith is the most important job I have, so of course I was happy to share! Later on I thought, “There could possibly be other moms, especially new moms, who need some suggestions. What a great blog idea!” So, here you go. Today I’m sharing all the ways I attempt to pass my faith along.
Now please hear me, I know there are FAR better and wiser moms out there who do a MUCH BETTER job at this than I do, but I can assure you, I try really hard. Also, believe me, I realize that in sharing such suggestions, you could see this as a mandate that I believe this is what you have to be doing. Please don’t do that! Sift and filter through this list, take what you need, leave what you don’t, and above all, live in His grace!!!

At the end, feel free to add other ideas in the comment section. We are all in this journey of faith, seeking to learn and grow. This would be a great place to gain insights from each other!

Without further delay, here’s the list (cause lists & I get along really well):
  • The most important thing I do for my kids is stop when they have a question pertaining to God, church, heaven, the Bible, etc. My kids know how important it is to me simply because I take the time to answer and to help them understand, no matter what time of day or what the situation. I don’t tell them to ask me later, I don’t say “not now”, I don’t say “ask your father”, I don’t say “you’ll understand it someday”…no, 99.9 percent of the time I am answering the question or looking up the answer in the Bible to show them or doing something to help them understand (I've even been known to act out Bible stories). As stated above, I think this is the #1 most important way I pass on my faith to my kids. Why? Because if my child asks the question, it means it's a topic on her heart and therefore, she will be totally engaged, wanting to know the answer (right then, not later).
  • I have read to my children from kid-friendly Bibles or age appropriate devotional books from very early ages. I have known that it’s important to get the Word of God in them and to get it softening their little hearts early.
  • I have sung to my kids, well, since they were in the womb.  Of course, I sing songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and “This Little Light of Mine”, but also hymns like “The Old Rugged Cross” or worship songs like “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” Again, it’s about a repeated message and I believe it prepares little hearts to hear the gospel later on.
  • We pray together all the time. We pray at the start of the day at breakfast. We pray at the start of our home school. We pray during home school for other countries and people groups. We pray, of course, at each meal, whether here at home or out at a restaurant. We stop and pray anytime someone calls us and asks for it. We pray anytime there is sickness in our house. We pray in our car each and every time we leave our driveway to go anywhere (please note: each time we go somewhere, it involves a trip…no store just around the corner here). Lastly, we pray with each child, individually, before they go to sleep at night. Bedtime has become a favorite time for my kids to ask those “deep” questions burning in their minds...it's usually some of the sweetest and most special times!
  • From the time my kids were babies, I have tried to bring God into our conversations.  I have done this most often as we are playing outside. I’ll say something like, “Look at the beautiful day God gave us, girls!” or “Isn’t God so amazing...look at that gorgeous sunset He made!” But more than that, I try (notice I said TRY) to listen for times when God is providing me with a teachable moment. When those moments present themselves, I try to seize them. Actually, I pray for those kind of moments. Life is the best teacher, and this world, the most amazing classroom!
  • This probably goes without saying, but my children attend church regularly. They go to Sunday School, Children's Church, Mission Friends/GA's, and also to AWANA. They are hearing and learning the Word all the time. I believe it's so important for them to hear the Christian message from other people! I'm so very thankful for each and every person who takes the time to pour into their lives!
  • I guard my kids from watching negative things on TV (and yes...there's a lot of it)! Almost every show my kids watch is either educational or inspiring. Also, we have invested in a lot of Christian cartoons/videos (things like Boz the Bear, Gigi: God’s Little Princess, Superbook, Veggie Tales, etc.). My kids take notice when they are watching something with a Christian message, and they get excited about it! I also guard the kind of music my kids listen to. My car radio is always set to either a Christian station or to classical music, and at home we love to listen to Pandora (setting up our own "stations" that play our favorite Christian artists).

And that leads me to my last point…

If you possibly read the post I wrote about my dad last Father’s Day, you might remember that in my childhood home, my parents were wonderful guardians of the faith. They created such an atmosphere of honor for the Lord, when I got “out into the world”, the differences slapped me in the face. Without question, I knew the choices I wanted to make and you know what, I want the same "revelation" to happen to my children one day! Don't you want that for yours?!

Peace and blessings abound in an atmosphere that honors the Lord!

Let me leave you with a quick question:

If Jesus Himself were to physically walk into your home, would He be honored by the way you are raising your children to know Him?

If that answer is YES, I applaud you and say keep up the great work! If that answer is NO, I want you to know that it is never too late to start honoring Him...your children will rise to the task of centering your lives on the Lord, if you do. Parent, they will follow your lead!

"Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates."

For His glory,