Title: Sharing Religion with Our Children
Category: Positive Parenting
How do we share our faith with our children?
Is it important? In the fast
paced dangerous world of unlimited quasi-religions fooling our children, it is
very important that we share our faith and religion with them.
Moses said that we should teach God's law when we sit at home, when we
walk along the road, when we lie down, and when we get up.
(Deuteronomy 6:7) How do we do that? Simply
by sharing and by living our faith honestly, and by sharing our experiences on a
daily basis whenever questions come up. We
can explain why we make certain choices, why we hold certain values and
attitudes dear, and relate them to our faith in God.
In living our faith we should be sincere and try to live what we preach.
We should pray regularly and attend church regularly with our children.
If we make nightly prayer a ritual when the children are young it will
become a lifelong habit. Children
are naturally drawn to faith and religion if it is shared lovingly and
Children will see the love of God through you as you live a life of love.
If you love your children unconditionally and you love and serve those
around you, your children will respond to that love.
The way you handle anger is a reflection of your faith.
Teach your children to handle anger calmly and maturely and not to be
overly authoritative and demanding. As
your children grow older and have questions and opportunities to avoid their
involvement in your religion it is important not to pressure them too much.
If you over pressure your children they might reject it.
Religion taught and shared to young children is like a bedrock of
stability. They can return to it at
any time in their life and usually will.
How do we model God's love in our lives as parents?
Are we forgiving, understanding, empathetic, gentle, and fair?
If we are then our actions will model the values and lifestyle we want
our children to follow. Occasionally
children will test the limits of our rules.
At these times we can simply say "This is the way it is in the
family". These are the rules
and because we love you we insist that you follow these rules and live within
the guidelines of our religion and of God's universal laws.
In other words, lying, stealing, committing adultery and other things
which God teaches us not to do, not only hurt us, but hurt others.
These laws are universal and have consequences.
That's the way the universe works and if you go against these laws, they
will "backfire on you."
In the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to write his words on the doorpost and lintels, on their hand and on their forehead. In other words they were to make God's word and truth central in the home. When you walk into a home characterized by God's love and faith you can feel it. Our homes must reflect this type of genuine faith in order to guide our children in growing and living their faith. We should read the Bible, strive to understand it, and act on it as parents and as a family. Regular church attendance and practicing our faith through the seasons of the year, special religious days and ceremonies and especially praying as a family is important. When opportunities come up to teach our children such as when they gossip or treat someone in a non-loving way, we must do so. There are stories and answers for every lesson we need to teach our children throughout the Bible.