Our greatest challenge as adults is setting the right example for those who are in our sphere of influence – especially our kids.
We want them to learn respect, manners, self-control, and the value of hard work. We hope they catch the importance of family, sharing, giving, and love for one another. But how important is it for them to also learn the basic beliefs and practices of the historic Christian tradition? Actually, how important is it for us to model the basic beliefs and practices of the historic Christian tradition?
I believe in the value of helping our kids learn how to be good citizens and people who are generous with their time, their talents, and their resources. But more importantly, I believe it is important for these practices to emerge from the deep soil of our tradition.
I cited a lot of information last week that points to the challenge ahead. While we may want to point to the church as the focal point for this, we actually need to look within our own homes. It all begins there! Instruction, nurturing, reinforcement, and correction all begins at home. We cannot abdicate our responsibility and role to outsiders – it is a mantle that we own and must take seriously as our role. But it is not easy so here are a couple of suggestions tailored just to sharing our faith.
Table talk – foster conversation with your kids where God is the main topic.
Prayer – take time to pray as a family even if it is just at the dinner table.
Walk with Jesus – if you are not following Jesus, don’t expect your kids to.
We need to get past one hurdle – authority. For some reason we believe that we have to be the authority on a subject in order to instruct. Maybe that is the reason why we leave education up to the teacher’s, enforcement of laws up to the police, and teaching about God to our pastors and priests – we fear that we don’t know enough. Let me encourage each of us to accept the challenge to lead in all of these areas instead of standing on the sidelines.
What is wrong with learning along side our kids?
What is wrong with setting the right example as a law-abiding citizen of a civil society?
What is wrong with discovering the story and work of God with our kids?
Based upon the research and reading I am convinced that the only way for us to reclaim the missing generation of 18-35 year olds is for us as parents to pursue a new course that is rooted in our charge which is to share our faith at home.
I believe that when we do this with love, respect, and authenticity we will see the seeds of faith germinate in the souls of our youth ensuring that God will continue to have a witness in our family, our community, and our world.
So is there something that is stopping you from assuming the mantle of responsibility and leadership in your home, especially in the area of faith?
What is it and how do you overcome it?