You see, I was blessed to grow up in a Christian family. A real one. Church wasn’t just something I attended and then forgot about. My relationship with Jesus was talked about at dinner, on family vacations, while going for walks and mowing the lawn, while shopping for back-to-school supplies and while opening Christmas presents. Church helped me along in my faith, but it really took root in my family.
Faith at home is even more important now than when I was a kid. Our society is more post-Christian now than it has ever been. I used to spend approximately 5 hours a week at my church — most families today spend 1 hour most weeks (because, let’s face it, no one goes to church 52 Sundays out of the year anymore).
The awareness that God is always with us and at work around us is a primary way of discipling your kids.
Based on this illustration, who should have the primary responsibility of discipling kids? You got it — it’s not me. It’s not the kidmax coordinator or the classroom volunteer. It’s mom and dad.
In the book Faith Begins at Home by Mark Holmen, the author shares research that for kids grades 7-12, mom and dad are rated the #1 and #2 influences in their spiritual life! Even though you feel like they’re not watching, they are. A solid foundation of sincere faith for the next generation is what we church leaders dream of, and we can’t do it without you! Faith is meant to be lived out together, in community, and no community is more pronounced for a kid than their family!
I’ve met many parents who desire to disciple their kids at home, but they aren’t sure how because they never had it for themselves. That’s okay! The great news is that it’s not difficult. Building faith at home is as simple as remembering God throughout your day:
- Say grace before meals
- Read the Bible story from kidmax after supper and talk about it (E.g. Ask, "What’s one thing that stood out to you?”)
- Review the key verse before bedtime
- Ask if they saw God at work while they were at school
- Have prayer be your immediate response when something goes wrong
The awareness that God is always with us and at work around us is a primary way of discipling your kids. You can also carefully choose when and how you’ll engage with God. Why not do your devotions in the living room instead of your bedroom, so your kids can “accidentally” find you reading your Bible? Remember, you may feel like your kids aren’t paying attention, but they are!
I’ve been on both ends of this research — looking at the need for faith at home discipleship of children, and also the number of young adults that are leaving the Church. I think they’re correlated (in fact, I was a part of a research study that showed it). I’d put money on the table that most young adults who have left the church didn’t have faith modelled for them at home as children. They may have went to church every Sunday — but if they didn’t see it at home, it wasn't legitamate in their minds and hearts and so it didn’t stick.
So, this year, make sure you grab the take-home card each Sunday and actually go through it with your child! Read The Parent Blog each week. And get intentional about inviting God into your daily family life. Seek out Jesus as a family, together.
Find something interesting in this article? Here are some additional resources to check out:
- Faith Begins @ Home: https://goo.gl/cu6ONc
- Parenting Beyond Your Capacity: https://goo.gl/IkhgjA
- Almost Christian: https://goo.gl/FdKhpe