I don’t know how to write this blog post. I read something not too long ago and it really has me processing a lot of stuff. Mostly stuff as it relates to my own faith, the faith of my two children and eventually, the faith of the thousands of kids who are affected by my influence. I love to talk strategy, implementation and methodology, but my wife often warns me those things alone don’t change lives.
I feel like every one of us should constantly re-evaluate our own faith and guard against what faith often tends to drift to. Knowledge. Beliefs. Culture. Routine. Boring. Related to that, what kind of faith are we passing on to our kids? Is the faith I live out compelling to my kids? I’m not sure it always is and I know that my kids WILL learn more from what I do than anything I say. What am I teaching them about faith unintentionally? The same goes for the kids in my church. What kind of faith am I pushing? Is it compelling or is it storybook, pat answer, knowledge based faith that doesn’t compel? I’m not sure this is a curriculum answer, but something bigger than that.
When Jesus walked in on the scene, he stirred things up. The years of ministry he spent with his disciples would be described as adventurous, costly, risky and difficult. From a spiritual formation perspective, realize that this is the kind of faith Jesus passed on to his few.
When I think of the faith I’m passing on to my kids (biological and spiritual):
- Is it adventurous?
- Does it cost me something?
- Is it risky?
- Is it difficult?
If not, why should I expect my kids to follow Jesus and do even greater things than I did?
Yeah, I’m starting to wonder about what kind of faith I’m pushing.
What about you?
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If you are living out your faith you won’t have to push anything:) Your children and those around you will see your faith as a tangible thing acted out in love to others, obedience, and trust in God. Faith, like love, is a verb, and children take great notice of what they see us do. Only last night this was made evident to me with my 21 year old daughter. She was exploring ministry directions for herself, and said to me “when we were growing up you were always taking us somewhere to help someone. Like that time we bought presents and food for a family who’s mum had cancer, or we took blankets and a mattress to another family.” Faith is lived out in the little things we do, and these can also involve a cost, be risky and difficult. The woman with cancer turned out to be a drug addict, but so what, she is God’s child.
So what am I saying? Teach your children to act out the love of Christ to those around them in practical ways so that they too can have a faith that is active and real. I feel that this is something we often forget to empower our children to do.