I’m honored to be sharing a post from my friend, Jen. We blog on very similar topics so we’ve teamed up to share our messages on both blogs. Once a month I’ll have a post from her and once a month she will return the favor for me. Jen shares her love for the Lord and her heart for her marriage and her family. If you haven’t yet visited her site before, please take a few moments to click on a link within her post. You’ll be blessed by her ministry!
* * * * *
This month we are discussing how to build a strong family unit over at Being Confident of This, and every strong family begins with a solid foundation!
While it’s important to teach our children obedience and manners, how to play sports and succeed in school, the most important thing we can ever do for our children is to establish a foundation of faith.
If we think of a family as a home being built, then think of personal faith in God as the foundation of that home. Parents who aren’t well-rooted in faith will struggle to pass on an understanding of the Word, as well as biblical family values.
If you want a foundation of faith for your family, begin with yourself. Work on your own relationship with God first. Pray for and encourage your spouse’s walk with the Lord, as well. In addition, consider these four ways to build a foundation of faith.
4 Ways to Establish a Foundation of Faith
1. Talk openly about your faith, even when you struggle.
Certainly, we can’t and shouldn’t tell our children everything we go through in life. Some things simply aren’t appropriate to share with them. However, parents are often afraid to show any sort of weakness or doubt, especially when it comes to their personal faith.
The truth is, our kids already know that we aren’t perfect. We don’t have to tell them because they see it for themselves! Thus, a strong family foundation depends on parents who exhibit and encourage authentic faith.
Kids need to see authentic faith in action,
and authentic faith is not perfect faith.
Authentic faith admits to weakness, dare I say even sin? Authentic faith apologizes for wrong-doing. Authentic faith teaches and embraces grace. Authentic faith doesn’t shy away from doubts but confronts them honestly.
When we share our struggles and doubts with our children, we also give them an opportunity to see how God works in us. That’s a powerful thing to behold!
2. Involve kids in praying for needs.
I know so many youth today, and even some adults, who are afraid or embarrassed to pray aloud (even when alone). Some of them are also afraid to share prayer requests pertaining to themselves.
A foundation of faith includes praying together and praying for each other.
One practical way to raise children who are comfortable praying is to develop a habit of bedtime prayers. Another way is to allow children to take turns praying at mealtimes or during family devotions, even the youngest members!
Does the family have a specific need? Call a brief prayer meeting!
3. Study the Christian faith together.
Obviously, the best way to study the faith is to study God’s Word together. There is no better foundation of faith than one rooted in Scripture. Choose a book of the Bible to go through together, or if your children are younger, try a devotional made for kids.
For older children, consider using a creation to Christ approach to help them understand the Bible as a whole.
We like Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ Children’s Edition from New Tribes publications (in-depth study) or The 7 C’s of History from Answers in Genesis (more of an overview). For teens, we like The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus from Goodseed.
The Bible isn’t the only way to study the faith together, however. Our family really enjoys reading biographies of missionaries and heroes of the faith in the Trailblazers series, also! If you have children who won’t sit for reading, try the Torchlighters video series or even Veggietales videos based on Bible stories. Then discuss together.
4. Attend a Bible-believing church together.
The older I get, the more I value my own parents’ dedication to church attendance. We attended faithfully during my growing up years, even when we lived as missionaries overseas in a tribal village. Why is that significant? It’s significant because we children couldn’t even understand much of what was spoken there!
I recently saw a photo on facebook of believers in the Philippines who were standing knee-deep in floodwaters in their church. Despite the flooding, the church was practically full! The question was: what is your excuse?
While that statement may sound harsh, the creator of this meme has a valid point. In Western countries, especially in America, we easily take church for granted.
In a time when young people are leaving the church by droves, we must emphasize to our children the need to commit to a body of believers for fellowship, for edification, and for accountability. (Heb. 10:23-25)
If we value church as parents, our children will learn to value it as well, even if there are times when they really don’t want to go. 🙂
Ponder these words from Paul about Timothy and his foundation of faith.
“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” 2 Tim. 1:5 (NASB)
Most parents endeavor to give their children every opportunity in life, yes?
We want the best education possible for them. We enroll our children in sports and music lessons so that they might become “well-rounded.” We take care with the friendships they develop and encourage good work ethics.
Are we just as concerned about giving them a foundation of faith?
If not, we should be.
*This post makes use of affiliate links. Jen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.