Many Christians faithfully go to church, but of greater importance is whether they live a life of faith and are truly in love with God with all of their being. As Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Christianity is meant to be more than attending church one hour a week; it should be lived out 24/7.
One of the many reasons why this is important is that the lives we lead leave an impression on our children. We may not realize it, but they observe our every word and action. If we only go to church but not live out our faith in all aspects of our lives, that may lead them to turn away from God. We cannot be an active member of the church and also watch pornography or constantly tell lies or practice unforgiveness. If we live and act one way in church, and then become a totally different person outside of church, our children, who can see clearly the disconnect between the faith we proclaim to have and the life we are actually living, may want nothing to do with Christianity.
We as parents have the responsibility of making the home the primary place where faith is to be lived out and nurtured. This does not mean that the home must be the only place for children to learn about faith – the church can also come alongside with biblically-grounded children’s programs. However, what we are doing at home is far more important than what is happening at church, because our children spend only one day of the week (and even then, only for a few hours) in church, but they spend seven days with us.
Jesus is our Emmanuel, and that means “God with us”. We need to demonstrate to our children that we have an intimate and thriving relationship with Him, and that they too, can connect with Him all the time, not necessarily just in church.
So how do we establish the home as the primary place of imparting faith? How can we as parents be the primary influencer of our children, and even our grandchildren? The following questions might help you get started:
What is one thing you have been doing which models faith for your children? Can you think of other ways in which you can do this?
Is there any area in your life that needs working on in order for you to become a more effective witness of faith to your children?
What is one thing you can start doing to bless your children more intentionally?
Hopefully when our children are asked, “Who helped you know Christ?” their answer would be, “My parents”. It’s the dream of every parent that whatever love we show for God, our children could show even more passionately, and their children too and the cycle carries on. Let us as parents intentionally build a robust faith that will last in the lives of our children, and in the generations to come after them.
Adapted from Rev Mark Holmen’s session at the Whole Life Symposium 2015.
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Pick up more practical ways to disciple and impart faith to the next generation from over 20 speakers at our upcoming Whole Life Symposium on 19- 20 August 2016. Find out more at www.wholelife.sg/symposium