Friday, February 26

'An Awesome, Sacred Responsibility'

My husband & I were not raised in Christian homes, so we started all of our faith traditions from scratch--or from borrowing other people’s ideas! We hope some ‘winners’ will stay in our kids’ hearts and become part of our family legacy over time. Here is how we got started on this awesome, sacred responsibility.

We decided early on we wanted our faith to be ‘caught’ as well as ‘taught’. Through listening to worship music together and reading some wonderful Christian children’s books together (in addition to finding a good church home & praying together), we hoped our kids would ‘catch’ our joy as Christ followers, our values and beliefs. We wanted them to see us living out our faith Monday through Saturday, too!

But of course that in & of itself wouldn’t be enough, we also wanted to follow the instructions in Deuteronomy 6:6-9, so we made time for evening devotional time together on a nightly basis from the time our children were very young.

On special occasions (Easter, Christmas, birthdays), we selected age-appropriate bibles or devotionals and wrote a few words of encouragement inside along with the date. These have become treasures over the years! We also picked up some great CDs by Steve Green called “Hide ‘em In Your Heart”…a super tool for scripture memorization!

My kids were early readers and many a night little Ryan would read his beginner Bible and ask me questions. To be honest, there were times I was learning right alongside him! :) Sophie picked right up on the enthusiasm for family devotional time.

My husband suspects the kids were sometimes motivated by delaying bedtime (I have been known to allow extra reading time—if it’s reading the Bible or a devotional!), but we all treasure these special memories and I know many seeds were sown in our children’s hearts this way. I wish I’d been like Betsy and celebrated my kids’ spiritual birthdays! What a beautiful idea. For us, knowing that our children have a relationship with Jesus their Savior is a gift like no other. (Finding ways to keep that precious relationship a protected, nurtured and growing priority is the stage of parenting I’m in today. But that’s a story for another time.)

I hope I can encourage you that you are equipped to talk to your kids about God. You were chosen for this job! You are a missionary in your own home. You don’t need to have it all figured out or worry about having all the answers! Just get started—the sooner the better! Be authentic and real, no matter where you are on your faith journey. If you don’t know the answer try saying, “That’s a great question! Let’s be sure to find out…together.”

(This posting is continued from yesterday 2/25/10, written by Katy!)

No comments: