The other day my 3-year-old looked at our wall decor and saw a cross hanging up. He turned at me and said, “Jesus hung on the cross and He had holes in His hands.” It was so precious. And it got me thinking about the journey of raising our kids as believers. You see, I think as parents many of us are natural control freaks. It is a flaw in the human condition. We know our kids are a gift from God and are on loan to us. Thus we take our job of raising them to be God-fearing, instilling faith, and servants of the Lord very seriously. And oftentimes we act a little too frantic about it.
However, sometimes it is not so simple. They are their own entities with their own minds, sins, thoughts, desires, abilities, and gifts. As much as we want to shield them from their mistakes and make all of their decisions for them, we know that is not in their best interests. They won’t grow into independent, well-adjusted adults if we make all their decisions for them and keep them from ever learning lessons from their own poor decisions and heartaches. Sound familiar?
I love how our relationship with our Heavenly Father always parallels our own relationship with our kids. We try to be like Christ as parents as we model Godly behavior. We stuff-down our controlling instincts to allow them their free-will and make their own choices. Just like God does for us. And just as God is always watching, and waiting on our call, we watch and wait on our children’s call. After all, we made them, birthed them, and brought them into this world just as God gave life to our souls. So, when my little man-made that precious, innocent observation about the cross in our living room, I let him lead the way. For just a moment we talked about Jesus and salvation and he listened and engaged.
Instilling Faith: Let The Conversation Flow
Sometimes we think the mood has to be right, the conversation has to be perfect, and we have to do our very best to force our kids down a path of faith. But the reality is that they learn more and absorb more than we know. And a lot of it is simply by the behavior we model. I promise you are doing enough to instill your Christian values in your kid. And the fact that you even care if you are speaks volumes. And if you honestly feel like you could do more – do it. Have the conversations, read your Bible in front of your kids, and hang crosses so your kids know your faith is so important to you, its’ all over your home and life. It is never too late to open the door of discussion about faith with your children.
“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” (Matthew 19:14)