As a parent, I’m looking around at the world around me and realizing that two major shifts in society are taking place that pose a challenge for my children.
- Society is becoming increasingly antagonistic and hostile toward Christianity.
- Christianity is becoming increasingly watered down on many fronts.
Together, these make for a dilemma. It is easy to see the result. As antagonism increases, those who are just “Christians” in name only but have no real foundation in God’s Truth will walk away. Those who do have a solid foundation in God’s Truth will delight in God and cling to Him through whatever may come.
I Long for My Kids to Know God for Themselves
I didn’t grow up in the church myself. I was a teenager when God revealed His truth to me about how Jesus had died on the cross and risen again so I could be forgiven of my sin and know and live for Him for eternity. I had drunk deeply of what life was like without God. I palpably felt the joy of forgiveness and saw God change my life for real. I’ve felt His undeniable thumbprint on my life and seen His design play out in all the years since.
I’ve also watched with concern as dear ones who did grow up in the church struggled with the issue of faith. According to Lifeway Research, 70% of the young people who grow up in the church stop attending church regularly for at least a year between the ages of 18 and 22. While a good portion return, at least a third never do. Some of these (and some that never stop going to church) struggle with the question of- Am I following God simply because my parents did or do I have a real relationship with God myself? They know how to answer the questions correctly and look alright on the outside, but they don’t really know Him.
How can I as a parent lead my children to have their own relationship with God from the start?
What can I do to help them learn to stand in awe of Him and yet draw near to Him for themselves? I’ve personally been thinking about these questions a lot lately.
3 Keys to My Kids Owning Their Faith
I Have to Delight in Knowing God Myself
How could I expect my kids to enjoy something that I don’t? I’ve seen this principle in play with food. The best way I can get my little guys to enjoy a new food is to eat it myself and show them that I enjoy it. If I don’t take time with the Lord and live my faith out loud with my kids, it is hard for them to see what it looks like for someone to find their highest joy in knowing God and making Him known.
I Have to Train My Kids in Solid Theology and Spiritual Disciplines
Kids won’t immediately understand the big picture of God’s Truth or know theology vital to their lives. They aren’t automatically going to spend time in prayer, study God’s Word, memorize Scripture, or meditate on specific verses. I can’t rely wholly on the teachers at church to instill these things in my kids. Training my kids to have an authentic, meaningful, daily walk with God is primarily my and my husband’s responsibility. They are things I have the joy of leading my kids in day in and day out!
I Have to Let My Kids Faith Be Their Own
It seems like a no-brainier, right? That’s the end goal anyway, isn’t it? God designed each of my children so intricately that only He knows how best to relate to them and how they can best relate to Him. I have to realize that their relationship with God will look different than mine. Each person has different gifts to be used to serve God uniquely, so if my children decide to follow Christ, their giftedness and how that plays out in their lives will look different as well.
Books Designed Toward These Ends
I’ve recently been working on a book series that parents, grandparents, and other loving adults can use to help lead kids to develop both solid theology about who God is and their own personal relationship with Him. There are three different books to address three different age groups and deal with the specific questions and comprehension levels that characterize each age (Ages 7-9, Ages 10-13, Ages 14-18). I am designing each one to be alive with rich theology and full of awe-inspiring truths about God. They are tailored to equip kids with facts that enable them to face skepticism with confidence. They are also written in a uniquely worshipful way that can hopefully lead the youth of tomorrow in developing their own knowledge of God. These are only in the fledgling stage, as I’m hoping the publisher will be interested. You could help a ton to see that these become available!
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