Faith—we all have it. And we all are teaching our children to have faith in someone or something whether we like it or not. In the mornings as you grumble and mumble incoherent babblings while groggily shuffling your feet toward the coffee maker . . . or as I like to call it, the happy, sunshine face maker, you demonstrate your faith in this cup of deliciousness to transform you into a functioning adult-type person. Then, when you holler out commands for your children to grab their backpacks and get to the car, you have faith that they’ll meet you there with enthused, smiling faces (although this faith can be ill-fated). Sigh. You even demonstrate faith in your car’s ability to run when you simply turn the key in the ignition. We really are faith-filled people. The question is, what are we putting our faith in above all else? Is it in these things that make life easier; is it simply in self and our abilities; or is it in something higher? If you are a Christian like me, then you know the churchy, textbook answer, but let’s get real for a minute. Are we honestly teaching our kids to place their faith in God above all else? If you want to know some practical ways to teach your children about faith in God, then you’ve come to the right place. I’m far from the perfect Christian, but I am learning daily how to parent the way God wants me to. Here’s what I know we should do.
- Pray with your children. I don’t mean just bedtime prayers either. When your child is scared, whether of the dark or of a bully at school, pray together that your child will feel brave and know that he’s not alone. Thank God out loud for making your child strong and brave. This might seem so simple, but if you could see my kids after I pray a similar prayer for them, you would be amazed at the difference. My once cowering, solemn-faced boy becomes a bright-eyed, chest puffed out, confident little man. My kids are learning through prayer to place their faith in their heavenly Father.
- Remind your kids what the Bible says about a matter. When my littles find themselves in trouble for disobeying . . . when they choose to ignore my directions for picking up their toys or throw a tantrum over brushing their teeth again (supposedly brushing yesterday is good for today), I
gentlyas calmly as I can remind them that God says to “honor your father and mother” and to “obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” There might be temporary eye rolls or huffs and puffs seeping from their mouths, but they’ll remember what I said. I’ve caught my oldest reminding his little brother that God wants him to obey, so I know he’s getting it. Through reminders of God’s words throughout the day, I am instilling truth and ultimately faith in God into my children’s lives.
- Answer your children’s “why” questions. Kids are curious. It’s in their nature. When your children ask why they can or cannot participate in particular activities or situations, don’t brush off their questions. “Because I said so” is not always the best answer. Our kids need to know our why. If you believe God would not be pleased with their participation in a certain activity, tell them that and show them the Scripture that backs your decision up. The same rule applies for doing what we know is right. They need to know why we choose to do good to others. Teach them what God wants for their lives. Our kids will be more likely to place their faith in God if they are shown why we do what we do . . . “obey or else!” might just steer them running in the opposite direction. When it comes down to it, kids are people too. They have to choose for themselves one day whether or not they will follow God, placing their faith totally in Him. Our job is to simply teach them our why and our how and leave the rest to the Father.
Since faith in motherhood has been heavy on my heart lately, I have asked several other Christian bloggers to join me in sharing with you how they incorporate faith into motherhood and why it’s important to them. We’ll kick off this series soon, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, ask yourself who/what you’re placing your faith in because more than likely, that’s what your children will place their faith in too.