So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.
The transferring of faith from one generation to the next is not automatic.
Children don’t receive a relationship with their parent’s God through osmosis while they sleep. There isn’t a ‘faith fairy’ who sprinkles belief dust over them, then waves a magic wand to complete the transfer.
A mere hour a week in Sunday School isn’t enough to combat what the world is teaching them through advertising, television and social media. They need something more … an industrial-sized application that only parents can give.
The Bible speaks of this ‘saturation training’ in Deuteronomy 6:5-9 New Living Translation: “5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Here are four ‘take aways’ from this passage:
- Don’t expect your children to believe something you don’t live! It must be your personal, active faith. Your love for God must consume all your heart, soul and strength.
- There must be a powerful commitment to obeying the voice and instructions of God … all of them.
- The declarations of your faith must be repeated to your children. Your walk with God, your history with him must become the most important story you convey. Consistency and repetition are vital.
- These teaching sessions cannot be confined to a specific time of the day or week, but must be integrated into every portion of life … watching television, talking through school events, explaining decisions you have made and the Biblical implications of such.
This type of faith transferring takes time and must be done even when it is not convenient. But if done as God directs is incredibly powerful and the very best preventative spiritual medicine you can administer.
These sessions are not comprised of dry truth hammered with impunity into their lives; instead are living, vital stories of your own journey and God’s hand in your life. Your children will see the reality of your faith and want it for themselves. They will see the benefits of serving God wholeheartedly and emulate your example.
Don’t see this as a chore. Never begrudge the time spent in proclaiming your faith to your children. See it instead as one of the greatest privileges that one person can ever be given … seeing your personal faith take root in the lives of your children.
After all, your kids are the only things you get to take with you to heaven!