Showing Our Kids How To Have A Monday Through Saturday Faith
I want my children to be happy and healthy. Successful and fulfilled. I want them to know what it is to passionately pursue something that sets their souls on fire. I want them to know love’s first kiss and the joy of marriage and children. I want them to have the courage to get back up and fight when life knocks them down. I want them to have the depth of character that their grandfather, my dad, did. I want them to be helpers and givers. If you’re a parent, I know you understand this longing for your children. We want so much for them, don’t we? But sitting above all those wishes for my children…above all else…I want them to walk in truth. The truth of Jesus.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4
I am confident that if they get this one thing right, then they will be okay no matter where the road takes them. Oh, that doesn’t mean they won’t find themselves on the wrong road every now and then, but it does assure that they will find their way back. Because when you walk in truth, you know when you’re going astray. You know it deep down in your bones and the truth won’t allow you to lie to yourself.
The truth tugs at your heart. Its echo follows you down the darkened path. It shines a spotlight on your life illuminating reality. The truth can’t be denied and it will not hide. The truth will come and get you when you’ve gone too far. The truth will keep you honest with yourself. It will not bend to this world and it will not sit cold in your spirit. It burns bright and leads you back to the way and the light.
The truth does not make certain that trouble will not befall you. Trouble will surely find us all. But the truth makes sure that you are not overtaken by it. The truth gives you a solid foundation that is not shaken by the troubles of this world. It is firm and gives you something to be assured of when your circumstances are confusing.
“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
If there’s one thing we can do to make sure our children are successful in this life, it is to point them to the truth and make the introductions.
**6 WAYS WE SHOW OUR KIDS HOW TO WALK OUT A MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY FAITH**
1. We pursue relationship with Jesus.
Parents, not the church, are the number one influencers on their children. YES, we should attend church because it is good for believers to gather together in worship and ministry. Church is instrumental in our growth and being the hands and feet of Jesus in our communities. But, you cannot expect church to take over the role of teaching your children about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus and what that looks like Monday – Saturday. When we openly and actively pursue Jesus, our kids will take notice. We are laying the foundation for what it looks like to walk out faith here! Do our kids see us reading our Bible? Are we giving them scripture to hang onto when we’re offering correction or encouragement? Are we stopping to pray when they feel sad or fearful? Are we offering to help out friends, family, and strangers who are in need of help? Do we do the right things even when it’s hard? Do we walk out God’s word in action and speech?
2. We stop and pray.
God bends his ear to hear the righteous. Are we stopping and praying over our children before they get on the bus? Do we daily lift them in prayer? Are we leading them in their own prayers when they’re having a problem at school or with a friend? If we want our children to walk in truth, they need to know the One who IS truth, Jesus. Leading them in cultivating their own prayer life is essential in developing a relationship with Jesus. Encourage them to pray over matters that they bring to your attention. Show them that some prayers are for asking for help and some are for asking for forgiveness. Some prayers are for giving thanks and some are for interceding on the behalf of others. God’s word says that we should pray without ceasing. Show your children how this is done by openly thanking God for things and use your time with them in the car to openly pray about things that concern them.
3. We speak God’s word.
Ever since my children were little I’ve let them know that when we don’t have an answer for something, God’s word does. God’s word gives us instruction for how to live and so much more. It is the living word of God.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Teaching God’s word to our kids should be natural as it very much pertains to our daily lives. When my kids are arguing I can teach “be kind to one another” and “a gentle answer turns away wrath while a harsh word stirs up anger.” When they’re scared I can teach “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.” The words that we speak to our kids comes back to them when they are in need. It becomes the blueprint for how they will think and react.
For more on this check out https://www.facebook.com/themessychristian/posts/1195252337277982.
4. We sing His praises.
Sing. Shout. Whisper. Speak. It doesn’t really matter. (I do it mostly off key lol). If we want our children to walk in the truth, we need to tell them the truth. God is good!! He is faithful. He is “an ever-present help in times of trouble.” He is perfect peace and unfathomable joy in the midst of hard times. He is the lifter of our heads and lover of our souls. He is altogether wonderful!! He is OUR great hope!! He is the mighty warrior who goes with us into battle and fights for us! Oh, and did I mention He’s faithful. I could wax on about that one forever. He is our very best friend, friends. His love is so great for us. We stand secure in Him!! When you’re making dinner, running your kids to soccer, or sitting around the dinner table…count your blessings in front of your kids and help them do the same. Not only is He worthy of all our praise, teaching our kids to praise His name will give them an eternal perspective…and that’s where truth is rooted the deepest!
5. We share our struggles and triumphs.
Our children long to know us. The real us. Showing them your struggles (appropriately) and triumphs in the Lord will be your greatest tool to showing them what it means to walk out real, marathon faith. Life’s not always roses. We’re not perfect parents. We don’t have to pretend with God and we don’t have to pretend with our children. If you make a mistake, ask for forgiveness. If you’re at a loss of what to do, bend a knee beside your kid. If you’re sad about a situation, you don’t have to put on a fake smile. Pursuing God through the struggle will be one of the best witnesses to real faith that you can give your kids. Claiming God’s word and walking it out on shaky legs is sometimes what walking in the truth looks like. We want to give our kids the real deal, not some fake, plastic faith that can’t withstand the heat of trials in life.
6. We share Jesus with others.
Our children are looking to us on what it looks like to love Jesus and love people. Are we reaching out to our community to help fill its needs? Are we a friend to the least of these? Do they see us pointing others to Jesus? Do they see us praying for others and giving a helping hand? There are so many ways we can be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us. Talking with our kids about how we do that and then doing it together is a great way to cultivate a heart of service to others.
These are the days friends!! These are the days that we get to pour into our children. What we pour into them will be as solid as a concrete foundation. One that will set them up for building their own house to the Lord.