Observe, Absorb and Apply
As parents, our most critical responsibility is to introduce our children to Jesus, to His love, and to His offer of salvation. Part of this job is teaching our children what it means to follow God. Christianity Today International offers a guide for parents in a Christian Parenting Series aimed to help parents develop their children's spiritual lives. The fourth article and study guide focus on "Help Children Make Faith Their Own."
What is the secret to making our faith our children's faith? Kevin Young writes in "The Secret to Faith-Filled Kids: How Children Really Learn to follow God." (Christianity Today International/Christian Parenting Today, Winter 2002, Vol. 15, No. 2) that the secret is three action words that parents need to know.
The first two words go hand in hand. They are "observe" and "absorb." Our children watch us in our own faith journey. If we make time for devotions regularly, they will too. If we go to church sporadically, they may too. Our consistent example speaks louder than any of our words. It's not about being perfect or when we make mistakes, it's how we live out our faith day in and day out that our children notice and imitate.
The last word is "apply." Our children need opportunities to live out their faith in order to make it their own. They need to experience working for God's kingdom. Working alongside a parent is a great starting place. Sharing their faith will sharpen and deepen it.
If you would like more information on Christianity Today's Christian Parenting Series, visit their website at www.ChristianBibleStudies.com.