Making It Stick
By Kellie Tipton
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
“Your children will become who you are; so be who you want them to be.” I don’t know who the author of that quote is, but it caught my attention. It was a challenge and it made me consider what example I was giving to my children.
It is very true that our children are watching us and will see the world through our eyes for many years, but one day they will be finding their own way and making their own decisions.
What concerned me was the question that in that season of finding their own way, is what we have taught them and shown them going to stick?
We want so much for our children and we can lean to the side of giving them more than they need if we are not careful. In our culture we have so many things and opportunities that can pull our attention as well as our children’s attention away from what is most important. What we exemplify before them matters and what we allow them to focus on or not focus on matters.
Over the years I have observed and experienced ways of being intentional that have proven very effective in giving children a firm foundation that sticks.
• Show your child what having a relationship with God looks like at home, work, in the car, at church and well everywhere.
• Identify and create opportunities to have conversations on faith. Allow questions that are tricky or that may have doubt involved. These can be very pivotal moments that create other times where they will come to you with questions. This does not mean you have to have all the answers, you can seek out the answers and get back with them.
• Consistently attend church. Church is the way that God has provided for people to grow in their knowledge and love of who God is and build relationships with other disciples. This is where our children can develop relationships with children and youth who know and love Jesus as well as adults who can speak into your child’s life in a way that reinforces what you are doing.
• Allow opportunity for your child to serve in church and when available in the community. Serve with your child and/or as a family.
• Encourage them in supporting Missions locally and globally.
As parents we must be intentional in how we share our faith with our children. If we are not intentional, there is a risk of our children being self-reliant and not God reliant. Let’s do our part in helping them grow and understand their own relationship with God!