Being 30 something and surrounded by young college people not only makes me feel old and but makes me realize how critical it is we give our kids a foundation of faith built on God and his Word. As I sat in class, references to faith and Christianity popped up, what shocked me were the references and comments that individuals like myself who base their beliefs on one text like the Bible are, “…closed minded and futile in their thinking.”
This generation’s prevalent worldview of postmodern thought includes postmodern values on spiritually, community, experience, and betterment of the world. In order words, this generation is highly skeptical of authority and won’t believe or do something simply because of tradition and they believe faith to be warm, fuzzy and subjective.
A quick web searching on “Teaching Kids About Faith” will pull articles like Parenting Magazine where faith, spirituality, and post modernism are combined to give parents ideas on how to send good thoughts in terms of faith.
Sadness crept into my heart for my classmates because they didn’t know what it meant to be in a relationship with God. They haven’t been introduced to grace or the promises of being imperfectly perfect, yet—radically loved by God. They don’t know the wild, passionate, deep love Jesus has for us—nor have they ever tasted freedom in the form of bread and wine in those precious bittersweet moments of communion. And sadly enough, they’ve never encountered God whispering answers or direction to prayer. Instead, they’ve encountered unchristian behavior and know everything we stand against.
It’s time to change that with my children’s generation.
It made me consider what I really want my kids to know about Faith and here six things I want to teach my kids:
1.The Bible is the Inspired Word of God
According to Barna, less than nine percent of adults believe the Word of God is infallible—meaning God’s word is contains no errors, is completely true and applies to our lives today. I want my kids to know God’s word to be true because God wouldn’t lie, because he is sovereign and wouldn’t put something in His Word unless we needed it. I want my kids to know His Word is living and active, it judges the hearts of men, and acts as a compass. And I want them to understand there is something inappropriate about using secular science to judge the claims of the Bible when we must believe it to be true simply because it is God’s Word.
And I also want them to know it is not to be used as weapon against things they don’t understand, nor is it used to condemn or judge but it is to be used as a living, breathing, active compass of Christ centered living. A way to love others through relationship with Jesus.
2. Faith will Help You in the Real World
When the world is pushing messages like, do what feels good, sleep your way to the top, you don’t need to be married to be a couple. I don’t want my kids to think faith is just a part of the latest trend in thought. I want them to God’s message is true today like it was 2000 years ago and like it will be tomorrow or on the other side of the world. The foundation of faith I’m teaching my kids is relevant and will still be applicable when they navigate the real world through personal choices, work, career, and relationships. Whenever they question what to do, I want them to get on their knees in prayer and/or dive into God’s Word.
3. Faith is more than just rules—it’s a relationship
With many doctrines, belief systems, and symbolic traditions encompassed under the word, “Christianity, it paints God to be an unrelenting task master full with a list of legalistic rules. I want my kids to know faith isn’t about rules, I want them to experience God’s love and what it’s like to have a relationship with Jesus. Being loved by Christ motivates me to want to do what God asks through his Word, to live life for Christ and it’s what will motivate them to pursue God’s heart.
4. Faith is an action
Faith isn’t just a warm, fuzzy feeling—faith means being Christ’s hands and feet in action. I don’t want my children to become disillusioned with the church or the years Jesus spent in ministry by feeding and clothing the poor. Jesus spent more time in relationship with society’s rejects than he did with his fellow peers at the synagogue.
I to teach my kids about “feeding his lambs,” I want my kids to be other’s centered instead of self-centered.
5. Faith means there is a future and a purpose for you
In a world where parents teach their kids to be anything they want—I want my children to know the true meaning of Jeremiah 29:11-13 and Psalm 139. I want my children to know they were created for a purpose, born with unique talents and destined to fulfill a purpose no one else can do. I want them to seek God’s face to establish their future. I want them to intimately understand Ephesians 2:10 of being God’s masterpiece.
6. Faith is keeping your eyes on Jesus
Today’s fad will be swept up in yesterday’s news but God is the same as he was yesterday as he will be tomorrow. I want my kids to keep their eyes on Jesus no matter how crazy and anti-Jesus this world becomes. This means I have to lead by example, putting my faith and relationship with Jesus in action. When something bad happens, I say, “Jesus, please help whoever’s been hurt in that accident,” or share how radically he loves me at the dinner table with a wildly far fetched—yet answered prayer. I want them to keep their eyes on him, no matter what.
Fighting for your child’s faith can be a tough and sometimes daunting battle, it’s easy to fear they will get lost or question our ability to lead or teach. But if you love Jesus and teach them to love Him, you and your children will one day meet Him face to face and hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”