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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kids And Faith – The Role Of Parents

Kids are smarter than we think.  When parents say one thing and do another, kids notice.

I firmly believe that many kids who “quit church” notice when there is little spiritual vitality in their own parents.  And the research backs me up.  According to a 2007 survey by the Barna Group, parents must have an authentic and vibrant faith to provide meaningful spiritual guidance to their children.

In other words, the old saying, Do what I say and not what I do,  isn’t going to cut it.  If we really want our kids to have a vital faith, we need to model it as parents.  Like so many other things in life, it starts at home.

Mothers like me who work outside the home arguably have less direct control over our children. This lack of control makes it even more challenging to model a vibrant faith and ensure that our children obtain spiritual guidance when we’re not around.  This can lead to some basic fears and insecurities.  Will my children turn out okay? How can I make sure I tend to their spiritual development? And can I really trust God to take care of them, even when I’m not there?

No, I don’t have all the answers.  But I do know that my kids are watching my every move.  Thank God that authenticity doesn’t demand perfection.  And thank God that grace surpasses my own efforts every time.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9