Many times over the last few years, people have asked Steve and I what we did to raise kids that embraced faith in Jesus Christ. I have always been hesitant to answer this question as I believe that the primary reason my adult kids are walking with the Lord is because of God’s grace. But looking back I realize there are some practices that both Steve and I were intentional about in our home. One of those practices was the art of godly story telling. Let me explain. Steve and I realized early on that our children responded well to stories. So we told them stories from the Bible and from Steve’s family heritage. Steve grew up in Africa. His parents were missionaries and his grandparents were missionaries. As a result, there were a lot of stories of faith to pass on. I was reminded of this early this morning, as I read Deuteronomy 6. Moses, continuing his final instructions to the people of Israel before he died, said, “And you must love the lOrd your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the dooorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NLV)
I see in these verses two reminders for parents. First of all, love and devotion to God starts with you. If you want your kids to grow up with faith – you must model genuine love for God. Secondly, use the power of story telling to pass on Biblical truth and the sense of a godly legacy. Tell your children stories of faith. If you don’t have a godly heritage, borrow the heritage of another. Tell them stories of great men and women of God. Create an environment in your home where stories of faith are considered “cool”. The third principle I see here is to write the commands of God on the doorposts of your home through prayer. Pray with and for your kids every day. Choose scriptures and pray them over your children.
In addition to loving your child, passing on your faith is the most important task you have as a parent. So, be intentional. Ask God for wisdom. Look for families you admire and find out what they did. I’ll be praying for you today. Leave a comment and I’ll pray for your family. Raising kids is tough stuff but God is cheering for you!
It is truly a blessing from God that all the sons of Don and Virginia Harling are following the Lord and as far as I know all the Grandchildren are as well. We are always amazed that God has blessed us in this manner, but realize that we are saturated in prayer by our parents and our children’s grandparents.
Thanks for all your wisdom and your godly heart Becky. Kerrigan already loves Bible stories (David and Goliath especially) and we read one every morning during breakfast with the kids. One of the primary reasons why I am a stay-at-home parent is so that I can take every opportunity to lead our kids to Christ from the very beginning of their lives. That is Wes and my deepest prayer for our kids – that whatever else may happen, that they will each love the Lord and serve him with their whole lives. I’m so thankful that there are many families at FCC (including yours) to look to for wisdom in godly parenting.