If we want our children to have a faith that influences the way they live their lives — and the critical life decisions they make — then in our homes we need to be modeling faith through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I once led a workshop with David Anderson titled "Nurturing Faith of Teenagers." I set the stage for the workshop by helping the parents identify the characteristics of teenagers as well as the issues they commonly face today. Dr. Anderson then took it a step further by asking the parents, "How many of you wish your teenager had a stronger faith?" Every hand in the room went up. He then made a comment that I'll never forget. He said, "While it's good that everyone desires that our teenagers have a stronger faith, the truth is that what we see in our teenagers' faith is a mirror image of our own faith. So, the issue is not their faith, but your faith."
The makeover in your family begins with a makeover in your own heart. If you want your children to have a personal relationship with Christ, you need to have a personal relationship with Christ. If you want God to make over your family, the makeover must begin with you. You need to move from having knowledge about God in your head to establishing a personal relationship with God in your heart. Only then can God affect how you live your life, raise your children and make life decisions. So ask yourself:
- Are you going to observe life God's way, or are you going to ignore God's way?
- You have been given the greatest gift you could ever be given: a son or daughter. What are you going to do with this gift?
- What do you think when you hear that your child's faith will be a mirror image of your faith?
- What example will you set for your child?
- How are you going to live your life, and what will your children remember about you?
- What type of faith would you like your children and grandchildren to have?
Take every chance you can to practice faith-talk with your children — and remember that faith-talk doesn't need to end when they grow up on their own. My dad once said to me, "You never stop being a parent." In the same way, faith-talk is a never-ending dialogue with your children. You can make a lasting impression on your children and the generations of children that follow.