I’m sure we have all talked to our kids at some point about how the mighty oak tree grows from the humble little acorn. We know that tall mighty trees that grow healthy and strong have to have equally strong roots to sustain that growth.
Our children’s faith is much the same way.
The tiny seeds of faith we plant, when rooted deeply in Christ, can grow into a strong active faith for their whole life.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, God commands the parents of the people of Israel to:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates
Those activities take place in our home as part of our daily life.
We don’t have to go somewhere special or engage in higher learning to tell our children about Jesus. In the next few blogs, we’ll explore some ways that make it easier for us to give and for our kids to receive through different types of communication.
For the roots we grow to be strong enough to have a lasting legacy, we must make sure our communication follows the 3 R’s – Real, Relevant and Regular.
REAL – We need to ensure that our own faith life matches the stories we share with our kids. A “do as I say, not as I do” style will not build strong roots. Kids are smart; they’ll figure that out. We must have an active faith of our own to share out of.
RELEVANT – Don’t just have your kids memorize Bible verses without context. Connect the Word to the world around them and show them God in the everyday. As different situations arise in the culture around us, don’t shy away from engaging in questions and discussions. Rather, make it a point to share how God is at work in the world today!
REGULAR – Taking a look at Deuteronomy 6 again we can see that God intends for us to be in daily conversation with our kids about theological truths. We don’t have to teach an entire sermon but we do need to proclaim His truths throughout the day.
If we are intentional about making sure our communication with kids is real, relevant, and regular, we will make a much greater impact when we begin to speak. The idea isn’t to be perfect communicators; the idea is to be effective communicators, and for kids nothing is more effective that seeing adults who are living what they preach, attuned to their needs, and committed to an ongoing conversation with them about God.
This blog is Part 1 in a five part series on “Growing Deep Roots: Communication for Faith Formation at Home.” For more information about practical discipleship in the home or transitioning to a more family-focused ministry at your church, go to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page.