How To Teach Faith To Your Kids
Each month, we focus on a virtue from In This House, We Will Giggle. If you are new, the best source is definitely the book or you can check out the virtue posts I’ve already shared this year.
January – Joy
February – Love
March – Forgiveness
This month is a tricky one – it’s FAITH.
Everyone breathe in and breathe out. This is probably the topic that causes the most stress. Lysa TerKeurst calls it “spiritual guilt” and it’s a doozy. We are constantly worried that we aren’t doing enough in this category. Am I praying right or enough? Do I even know what I’m talking about? Are my mistakes ruining it? Should I be making them memorize more scripture or songs or bible stories?
The depth of our desire to bring faith to the lives in our homes is matched only by the depth of our insecurity. I am with you. If I sit and think too long about my girls and their relationship with God – it can consume me. I have such huge desires for their lives:
I want them to know Him personally
I want them to follow Him
I want them to experience His grace
I want them to believe wholeheartedly they are part of His story
I want them to feel comfortable praying to Him
I want them to boldly share their faith with others
I want them to love and serve others like Jesus
The list could go and on. And so can the pressure on us moms.
Here are a few reminders for my heart and yours this morning.
1. It’s Not All Up To Us
This is so obvious and we know it. He’s got them. And His track record is better than ours. We cannot control the heart of our children. We can influence and guide and pray, however, God has their hearts. They might become a Christian and live for Him all the days of their lives. Or, they might be like me and press pause for the college days and come out with a burning God-sized hole. We don’t get to choose and we can find some rest in that. It’s not all up to us.
2. You Don’t Have To Be Jesus
So often, I try to be Jesus to my kids. Instead of showing them Jesus. I have learned that when I let God be God – and I live out my faith in front of my kids – they respond so much better. It’s more natural. It’s less forced. When I let go of control – it looks less like Bible knowledge and more like hearts after Jesus. If we believe He is real and He really knows what’s best for our kids – we have to parent that way. That involves letting go, trusting and letting them have a faith of their own. It involves so much grace and far less performance. Easy to write, extremely hard to do.
3. Do Your Best
Many of you think I am some sort of spiritual giant. It is just not true. I am taking one step at a time. I am growing. I am relying on Him daily. I also rely on MUCH wiser friends and mentors to give me guidance and wisdom. I teach often through my mistakes. Do your best and trust God with the rest.
4. Invite Them To The Party
My kids have learned the MOST from our everyday adventures. I invite them to serve, to love, to pray – right there alongside me. I share my big and small prayers and my big and small praises. I try to show His goodness and not just lecture them on what they need to do better. It does NOT have to be as complicated as we think. Just start inviting them to the party – one conversation, one step at a time.
Here’s the bottom line. I have fallen madly in love with Jesus these past few years. It’s all I can do or talk about. They might think their mom is crazy , but what if they don’t? What if they also experience that He is real. He is worth the cost. He is good. He is for them. He is worth their entire lives.
So, point #1 should’ve been – love Him wholeheartedly (not perform perfectly) and the rest will follow. 🙂 You got this mommas. It is never EVER too late.
In Chapter 4 of the book, I mention many practical ways that you can help your kids experience faith. I don’t want to ignore some very practical (and important) tips – from Bible time to prayer to music and more. Great resources out there for all of us. The chapter also details an activity you can begin this month – that will last for generations. Our Heritage of Faith is a journal that begins to document the faith tales of your family. A reminder and a promise of His work in the people they know and trust.
*Edit – the journal isn’t a product you can buy (hope to have that one day) – but for now the book just mentions a series of questions you can use. Kids can interview cousins, aunts, grandparents, parents to get down their stories of faith. Any journal will work!
is there a link for the journal?
Hey Heather: I added something at the end to explain. There isn’t a link. Hopefully one day! It’s a DIY for now.
As I woke up feeling critical and nit-picky, I came across your article here. Amen! And thank you for the encouragement. I know right now I just need to go hard after God, to see Him, to live passionately for Him so my children see it. Going to read that chapter today so I can get some beautiful ideas and it is so true. We need Him and He really is the one who impacts. 🙂 Have a blessed day!