“Mommas, don’t let your babies grow up to be” . . . . . . . ignorant of your personal faith journey. (You thought I’d say cowboys?) Dads, this goes for you too. In the church, we tend to emphasize and encourage adults, youth and children to communicate their faith stories to their peers. After all, that’s a piece of the evangelism pie. But how many Moms and Dads regularly take time to sit quietly individually with their kids and tell them how they came to faith in Jesus and what this has meant to their lives?
Who better to share the transitional impact faith in Christ makes in one’s life than a parent to their child? Guiding principles need to be expressed to the young. They provide boundaries. They initiate thought and value formation. I’ve heard many parents say “I refrain from giving spiritual or religious guidance to my kids because I want them to think and decide for themselves.” The Psalm writer offers different counsel, counsel I believe with wisdom. “Start children off in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (PS 22:6) Not a guarantee, I agree, but solid in principle.
Fallout and challenges to the faith lives of our children is inevitable. The bubble we create lasts only so long. How has Mom and Dad’s faith taken them through the long haul? How has a strong faith deepened their lives and enriched it? Where have Mom and Dad’s struggles occured? How did knowing and trusting Christ help them? Is their faith journey still a work in progress?
Speaking of God’s commands and life principles, Moses, the assumed writer of Deuteronomy, writes in 11:18+ saying “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Moms and Dads, it probably is ok if your babies “pick guitars and drive them old trucks,” but take the time to instill in them over and over again what Jesus means to you as you progress through life and its challenges. Let them ask questions, some of which will stump you. Have you taken time lately to talk honestly about the part Jesus plays in your life? Think About It.