Passing on Your Faith

What does it look like to pass on our faith to our children? Of course we must teach them with our words, but there has to be more. Children see right through a shallow and empty faith; they might reject their parents' "faith" in the short-term, but more definitely when they leave the home.

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  1. Hi, I showed up here because you 'advertized' your blog on a parenting forum. I think I will comment here instead, where you can delete it if you don't like it. I don't 'buy' that seeing parents living sacrificially will change a child's heart. There are just too many poor parents and too many unappreciative kids. Almost every religion and cult that I know has mentors who love their converts, listen to them, and call them to put *insert name of religion here* first. As for your college teammate, his parents would have done better encouraging him to know Jesus than to force him to go to church. You have one little nugget in your post, and that is the sentence that kids need to own their faith. I am a big fan of Answers in Genesis and I think you sort of missed the point. Learning how it all fits with science really does help kids "own" their own faith.

  2. Thanks for your insight, and for taking the time to leave a comment.

    I don't believe I said "that seeing parents living sacrificially will change a child's heart." My point is that I have seen (especially in the middle-class bible belt) is that parents think taking their kids to church and having them take part in Christian events (Bible study, VBS, Sunday school, youth groups, etc) is enough. Those are GREAT things (as is teaching that the Bible is true). But for parents to pass on their faith, there must be more.

  3. Good post Joey - I would take it another step which you implied "called him to put Christ first."

    To Anonymous - I prayed and pleaded with the Lord to teach me how to raise my children to walk with Jesus so they wouldn't walk away. He gave me many experiences as He taught me - the one that had the greatest impact I tell here

    Certainly the kids need to know truth - but knowledge without having experienced God's power is not enough.

    My children and their spouses - by the grace of God all in their 40ties - walk with the Lord and are active in ministry. As Mama says, "Pray sacrificially for your children. Pray for them so much you are giving up things you want to do for yourself." That may truly be the bottom line of what makes the difference.

  4. Hi Wanda, Thanks for posting that link. I am always looking for ways to do better at saying precisely what I mean in posts. So much depends on voice inflection and facial expression when people talk in person!

    In my earlier post, I in no way meant to discount a parent's sacrifice. God values and responds to one's sacrifice, and that part is certainly important. What I was questioning was the use of sacrifice as a witnessing mechanism to one's kids. That is the, "After all I've done for you, you ought to ..." approach. A child can see his parents live sacrificially, committed to the gospel and the local church, and still miss owning his faith.

    Actually, I think the title for this blog captures the concept pretty well. It is a 'different' way, not an 'add on more' way. It is raising children to glorify God before raising them for worldly success. It is raising them in the fear of the Lord instead of ...anything else.

  5. Anonymous - I ditto your first paragraph.

    It is so interesting how we perceive things so differently. Joey's statement on parents living sacrificially I took as meaning to sacrifice for others - not their children.

    I remember my mother going without a new dress because she gave the money to a family who needed it to buy food. That is the sacrifice I think kids need to observe.

    Amen to your statement "It is raising children to glorify God before raising them for worldly success."