What do you consider when you think of leaving an inheritance? A 401K plan? An insurance policy? A piece of jewelry? It’s easy to get caught up in what the world places value on, but these eighteen years your kids are home is the time to pass on your faith. Every generation must receive the gospel for themselves.
At one track meet in high school, I sprinted the third leg in the 4 x 100 relay. Knowing we only had a few yards left in the all-important exchange zone, I dove, extending the baton. The next girl grabbed it and bolted. I landed knees first onto the fresh asphalt. Bloodied and bruised, I watched as the runner crossed the finish line.
If you are a parent, you are that runner. Let’s face it, we all feel inadequate in our parenting skills, especially in spiritual matters. In Deuteronomy 6, however, God commanded his people to train the next generation about Him and to repeat His words to the children.
You are the best person to plant these seeds of faith in your child. You may need to share those bloody and bruised seasons of life and the triumphant ones.
Here are a few ideas to consider when passing on your faith
- Let them see you engaged with your Bible—marking it and discussing what you’ve read. We want our kids to see how studying and applying the Scriptures transforms hearts, especially ourheart.
- Let them hear you pray, not just rote prayers, but earnest prayers asking God for wisdom and help. Show your kids that you need Jesus even as an adult.
- Share your testimony. Keep the story age-appropriate for younger kids but don’t neglect this handing down of your life story.As the kids age into teenagers, share more detail and backstory to your salvation story. You’ll want to include your life before you met Jesus, the ah-ha moment, and the better you after you met Him.
- Find organic moments to share your faith or to point out evidence of our Creator God. Authors Christian Smith and Amy Adamczyk wrote in their book,Handing Down the Faith,“People usually talk about what they care about.” When you talk about your faith, you send a powerful message to your kids about what’s important to you.
- Be real. Kids must see us navigate difficult circumstances and seasons with Jesus. Let them hear you confess when you mess up. We want to be that safe place where our kids can come and share their struggles.
This Deuteronomy 6 method of passing down our faith is still relevant today. What would the future generations of your family look like if you handed down the great stories of faith from your life?