Sharing Your Faith With Your Family - Special Guest Danielle Christy
When I was a teenager I went to church by myself. Most of the time I sat by myself, watching my friends sitting with their families, longing for that, really wanting to be sitting with my family in church. Ten years later, I was 28 years old sitting at church in the first row, beside my husband with one kid on either side of us. And in that moment, it hit me: I was at church with my family. It wasn’t what I had originally thought and it took me a lot longer to get there, but there I was at church with my family.
Family has always been important to me and being a first generation Christian, my faith is as equally as important. My faith is something that I want to pass on to my kids but I also don’t want to take it for granted, because ultimately it’s their choice to make.
There are some ways though, that we can help pass our faith down to our kids. All throughout the Bible we can see story-telling, it was tradition to pass down the stories of the previous generations, not just to tell funny stories, but to teach the next generation to not make the same mistakes and to trust the real true God. We can do that too, maybe in a more modern way.
Here are some practical ways to teach your kids about faith:
- Be the same person all the time (at Church and at home, be the same)
- Apologize when you mess up (when you sin, especially in front of your kids, apologize to them, and show them how to do that)
- Put your kids first (God comes first, then your spouse, then your kids, and then church/ministry/other people etc.) This may mean staying home from church once in awhile; show them they are more important.
- Be honest. Let your words be true with them, if you promise something, do it and if you threaten something, live up to it.
Okay, so what do those things have to do with faith, we haven’t really even mentioned Jesus yet? You have to lay a very strong foundation with your kids first. They need to trust you, they need to see you be a Christian and not just act like one. When you are the real deal, they’ll want to have that too.
But when it comes to putting your faith into practice:
- Pray with them, first pray out loud with them, and then invite them to pray too.
- When you are serving or volunteering, find ways to have them help you and serve along side you, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Teach them to read the Bible, help them to know how to look for scriptures and use the Bible as a way to have them practice reading out loud to you.
- Find Christian music that you can listen to together.
- When they have a tough question, turn to the Bible for advice together, and pray together about it.
And most importantly, remember that God loves your kids way more than you do. You can teach them and model it for them, you can get it right and you can get it wrong, but God is bigger than all of that. So always, always, pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance when it comes to your kids, because He’s the best “helper” there is.
An ongoing discussion about growing up, passing on, and the ties that bind us together. Following Jesus is a family affair — no matter who you call your family.