So, now that we’ve looked at what it means to form habits, let’s take a look at some really practical things that we might want to try with our own kids, some small habits that we might want to build to make sure that we instil our faith in them, so that God can fan it into flame as the years go by. So, here are
5 Things You Can Do Right Now To Pass Your Faith On To Your Kids
1. Have technology detox time
This may sound odd and difficult, and, to be honest, it is a bit of both. However, in this modern world of ours, one thing that my wife and I have noticed, and I think that we have noticed others also noticing, is that the technology that we often throw at our kids to keep them quiet whilst we do what we want to do – read, Facebook, Pinterest, blog, watch a movie – is actually having a detrimental effect on them.
We have seen this in our own kids, to the point that we have gotten rid of the family TV and the family computer! We saw that their development was slowed dramatically, and all they wanted to do was spend time engaged with a particular device. They even became extremely angry when it was time to turn the device off (iPad, iPod, TV etc.) and come interact with real people – mum and dad.
As we noted in the first post in this series, these devices are formative, and there is plenty of research out there to back up the idea that kids should not be exposed to technology more than a few minutes a day. Here is one article (with a whole lot of links to research) articles that talk about this:
If you want your kids to be formed by something other than technology, then you need to expose them – for long periods of time – to something other than technology.
2. Make an effort to engage your kids in conversation about the bible/God/Jesus/theology
This could be as simple as just asking them what it was that they learnt at kids church or youth group. What was the topic of the evening? What were the stories that were looked at? What verses were used to justify answers?
Then offer some alternative views – what about these verses, or stories, or ideas? Engage them in conversation – ask them what they think about a particular topic, have a discussion with them, and see where it goes. You don’t always have to come to a conclusion – depending on where they are at in life – if they are kids they will probably need a more concrete resolution, and an answer. however, this leads into our next point:
3. Don’t shy away from the tough questions, but answer in an understanding way
This is something that we need to recapture, the ability to face tough questions and have a gracious reply/reaction. If our kids come and ask us about sex, or gay marriage, or pornography, or dating, or creation, we need to have an answer ready or to at least put forward our view in a way that is respectful, and will lead both them and us to a deep conversation about a particular topic. We may not have all the answers, but we must at least be willing to admit that we don’t and go through the process of discovery, and if we do that with our children, then it will also deepen our relationship with them.
4. Pray with and for your kids daily
One of the most important things that you can do for and with your kids, something that will model to them what it means to live out a Christian faith in our world today, is to pray with them each day, and to pray for them each day. This is a practice thats value cannot be overstated. Not only is it important for you to pray each day, to grow and deepen your relationship with God, but they will understand and learn, simply from observing, what it means to have a relationship with God.
5. Do your devotions in a physical Bible, so that they can see your habit and emulate it.
Again, this final habit simply comes down to setting a good example for them. If they see that you are walking around, always on your phone, tablet, or computer, it makes it harder for you to explain to them why technology is not a good thing to be on constantly. If, however, you are able to use a physical Bible, or a physical book to do your devotions out of, that will show them that they can unplug their devices and plug into something that will help them to develop a deep, real, lasting relationship with God.
So, there you have it, 5 practical way that you can foster an environment that will help pass on your faith to your kids! I hope it’s been a helpful series, feel free to leave a comment, share, like or subscribe to keep up with the latest posts.