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If you’re a parent with a faith of your own, chances are it’s important to you to instill solid, character-building, faith-growing practices in the daily habits of your children.
If you’re a parent, and you’re anything like me, thinking about being responsible for the development of someone else’s faith feels like immense pressure—like rhino-on-my-chest level pressure.
Meanwhile, I’m over here multitasking my time with God, with drying my hair, brushing my teeth, shaving my armpits, all while wiping down the bathroom sink. And I’m supposed to teach my daughters how to create healthy spiritual disciplines?
Send help. SOS. Somebody put my kids on your church prayer list!
But let me give you (us) some hope—just thinking about teaching our kids spiritual disciplines is a huge step in the right direction. Our thoughts steer our actions, and our actions are required when it comes to parenting with intentionality.
That being said . . . just thinking about anything doesn’t really accomplish much (as in it accomplishes nothing). Unfortunately, daydreaming about hours spent on a treadmill will not actually do a thing to work off the Boston Crème donuts I indulged in this morning. Sigh.
Like with all parenting principles, teaching your kids how to pursue a relationship with their heavenly Father takes action, consistency, and patience.
Here at Parent Cue, we have identified four faith skills that we want every kid to learn and practice:
HEAR: Listen to God’s Word. When we read the Bible and listen to what God has to tell us through His word, we learn we can trust God no matter what.
PRAY: Dialogue with God. Through
TALK: Articulate your faith. When we talk about our faith, we learn more about God and can tell others about Jesus.
These four faith skills have the potential to create an incredible spiritual foundation in the lives and futures of your kids. So . . . how do we go about making these four practices daily habits for our kids? Here are a few tips:
8-years-old. 18-years-old. It doesn’t matter. God has a way of gracefully filling in the gaps.
Taking your baby to church (after your doctor gives everyone the medical “all clear”) is one way to establish that church (therefore, God) is safe and fun.
I grew up in church, have studied in Bible college, and worked on staff at a church for many years, and I am still fuzzy on what I believe when it comes to some theological issues. Heck, I get rusty on the details of many “famous” Bible stories. I mean, Elijah and Elisha? Who can keep track of who is who? It’s okay – healthy, even – to say, “I don’t know,” when it comes to questions about faith. Other great responses are, “Let’s ask someone who knows more,” “Let’s look it up together,” or, “That’s a great question to save for down the road.”
There are tons available—apps, blogs, and books. Last year, a team of us got together to write a devotional for elementary school students that talks all about faith. It’s called Where in the World, and it’s an interactive journal that walks students through the life of Paul. I wouldn’t be mad if you checked it out.
Just remember: God has uniquely wired you to raise your kid. You can do this. Ask for help—from your church, from other parents further along in their season of life, and from God.
Original blog post: http://theparentcue.org/practicing-faith-skills-with-your-kids/
Holly Crawshaw is a wife, mother, and writer who eats sour candy and laughs at her own jokes. She served on staff with North Point Ministries for six years, the latter of which was spent as Preschool Director. She and her husband, Ben, are raising their two daughters, Lilah and Esmae, in their hometown of Cumming, GA.