*This post was originally published for FBC Thorndale’s monthly newsletter.*
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
From the moment our children are born into this world, it is our job to teach, guide, and aid in God’s all-seeing plan for them. As they get older, it becomes more about what they see, rather than what they’re told. Children are master imitators, so whether we are purposefully or unconsciously working to give them something good to imitate, they’re already doing it. One of the most important things we need to teach our children is there is no perfect walk with Christ.
A few weeks ago in Children’s Church, I asked the children to raise their hands if they were perfect. None of them raised their hands. I then asked them to raise their hands if their parents were perfect, and a few children actually did. As parents it’s an important part of our job to show our children we, too, are flawed and only Christ is perfect. It’s essential to their walk to know you’re always available to discuss hardships and questions when it comes to their faith.
Here are a few ideas on how to be candid with your children:
- Read the Bibe out loud and discuss. Doing this teaches them it’s okay to have questions and furthers learning and understanding for both you and the children.
By reading and learning alongside them you’re showing them their faith, and yours is ever-growing.
- Be candid about your faith. While it’s not ideal for our faith to plateau, the truth is sometimes it does. We go through seasons where we’re floating from one bible study to another or switching up technique. It’s even possible that sometimes we go through a “dry” season; a time when we aren’t reading at all or feel disconnected. Teaching acceptance of these things is obviously not ideal, but showing your children that being committed to furthering your faith can sometimes be a struggle and to never be acceptant of that is important.
- Share your testimony. Kids don’t need to know all of the details from your youth, but they do need to know you’re not perfect. Only God knows their heart, and if they’re feeling lost it’s helpful for them to know that at one point you were, but you found refuge in Christ.
As parents, we sometimes confuse giving our children the best life with the perfect life, tripping us up on the actual life we’re living. Giving our children our best is all we can do. Imitating perfection only leads our children to believe that’s what they must achieve in their walk with Christ as well.