How To Influence Our Kids for a Lifetime of Faith

May 27, 2019

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.

Mark 2:15, ESV

Growing up my childhood was less than idyllic. Though I do have some happy childhood memories, most of them are of a dad who was physically there but not available in any other way. It was like living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and I never knew which dad I was going to get.

Despite these circumstances, my Mom stayed, and I remember coming through almost every morning to see her reading her Bible. My Mom wasn’t perfect. However, through her daily example, she showed us that though she didn’t have all the answers, she knew someone who did.

When I was in college, my parents separated. One would think that this would have made things easier, but it really only complicated everything. At times I would sit in the sunroom on the third floor of Roland Hall and think about how easy it would be to jump out the window and end it all. During those times, I could feel God wrap his arm around me and hold tight.

After college, I also had friends who grew up in more ideal families, but they too, for various reasons, experienced deep pain once they reached adulthood. However, like me, it was the fact that a relationship with the living God was modeled for them by one or both parents that helped them through the pain.

From these situations, I’ve learned, we can’t always protect our children from pain and circumstances as kids and adults. However, as a mom, one of the primary questions in my heart is, “How do I ensure my children grow up to be strong Christians?”

The more I study and talk to friends the more I realize there is nothing I can do to guarantee my children grow up to be Christians. The “perfect” childhood doesn’t ensure it. The “perfect” church doesn’t ensure it. The “perfect” child doesn’t ensure it.

But there is hope. Several years ago the book Almost Christian was published and more recently a study by Jana Magruder called “Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith” was released. In an interview about the findings, Jana shares that the five most effective things we can do as parents are:

  1. Bible Reading
  2. Prayer
  3. Service
  4. Listening to Christian Music
  5. Missions

In talking to my friends and from my own experience, I realized that this list rang true, and these things have been the deciding factors on whether or not my friends and I still had strong relationships with God in adulthood. We saw our parents model these activities and participated in them ourselves, which helped us develop our own relationships with God over time.

So how do we do that!? How do we add these activities to our already overloaded schedules? It is actually easier than you think.

Yes, my mom spent time with God each morning, but building a relationship with God isn’t always accomplished that way alone. It can come by playing Christian music on the way to school, praying with your child when they’re facing something difficult, listening to podcasts on the way to work that point you to God, listening to the Bible on an app… the list is endless.

I’d love to share with you some practical ways our family makes these activities part of our rhythm of life. Click the graphic below to have them sent to your inbox.

I found out recently that my mom actually didn’t begin her quiet time ritual until I was five years old. She learned about it at a Ladies’ Day she attended and began it in her own life. I’m so thankful she did!

Today, as you dream about connecting your children to Christ, don’t let Satan discourage you! It doesn’t matter if you haven’t started, if you started and stopped, if you fall off the horse for a day, a few weeks, or even months.

The important thing is that you keep showing up. Ask God for help to focus on what matters most in the life of your family. Those are the kinds of prayers he loves to answer!

Do you find it hard to study the Bible?

It doesn’t have to be.

Let me help you learn a technique for studying that makes it simple. Join me as we study one chapter each week and memorize two verses of scripture each month.

You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

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