Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Handing off our faith...

I just finished reading through Judges and wow, there really is a lot in this book! The theme God seemed to be giving me this time is one of leaving a legacy, not just leaving it but making it sure the next generation accepts that legacy and carries it on. What good is it to leave a Godly legacy if the kids don't pick it up? I understand that no matter how hard you try some kids won't pick it up, no matter how much teaching and praying, there will always be some rebellion. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do all we can for our children. We need to pass the baton of our faith on to our children.

In Judges 2:10 it says this; "After that whole generation had been gathered to their father, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel." This seems to indicate that the older generation was not passing on to the next one just what God had done for them. Who did they expect the next generation to hear it from if not themselves? The book of Judges is full of verses like this, God would raise up a godly judge and then as soon as they were gone the people would turn back to idols. What lessons can we learn from these Israelites? How can we pass on a legacy to our kids?

1) Read the Bible with your children. Begin when they are young. Teach them that the events in the Bible are true, not just random "stories". As your kids get older, model to them how to study the Bible. Start small and build from there. Help them understand the significance of both the Old and New Testament and that the events are indeed all true. Help them picture how big the ark was, tell them what a leper was, explain how painful Jesus' death was to Him (not getting too graphic for little ones).

2) Let your kids see you reading your Bible. If they see how important your time with God and His word are that will speak volumes more than your words can. Children observe and copy parent's actions often. (they copy the bad stuff too!)

3)  Share your faith stories with your children. Don't just make sure they hear about all the great men and women of faith in the Bible. Let them hear your story; how you came to know the Lord and how He is working in your life now. Even if you weren't saved out of  a life of drugs and alcohol, you were saved and God has done amazing things in your life. I know sometimes kids roll their eyes when parent's start sharing events from when they were a kid, but they need to see not only how God worked in the Bible but how He worked in your life, and how He is working now!

4) Pray for your kids. This is something my husband and I started doing before our kids were born. Having our first daughter be in the NICU for 24 hours gave us an opportunity to begin praying for her more diligently. Recently we came across a prayer list we made years ago while attending a Family Life Parenting weekend. We were amazed at how God had answered our prayers for each of our kids. An example is our middle daughter, she went through a phase where she would just lie all the time. Today, this girl can't tell a lie even if she tried! It's amazing to us how our prayers tamed this girl's bad habit so much so that it's completely gone. Remember to keep praying for your kids, not matter how old they are. A parent's job is never really done!

5) Two books I recommend. One book is for you as parents to read. Already Gone talks about how we are losing kids in the church.  This book says that those who faithfully attend Sunday School are more likely to leave the church than those who do not. There are many more statistics that will alarm you, but there's hope and this book addresses what parents and churches can be doing now.

Growing Up Christian is an excellent resource for teenagers to read. It talks about the dangers of not making your faith your own. Too often kids depend on their parents faith and never really make it their own (like the Israelites did in Judges).

For more information on either book just click on its picture.

                        
Our time on the earth is but a dot, so let it be said of us that we left behind a Godly legacy and that we were a blessing to our children!!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the book titles and all that God is teaching you.

    Here is another great passage related to this topic: 1 My people, hear my teaching;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
    2 I will open my mouth with a parable;
    I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
    3 things we have heard and known,
    things our ancestors have told us.
    4 We will not hide them from their descendants;
    we will tell the next generation
    the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
    his power, and the wonders he has done.
    5 He decreed statutes for Jacob
    and established the law in Israel,
    which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach their children,
    6 so the next generation would know them,
    even the children yet to be born,
    and they in turn would tell their children.
    7 Then they would put their trust in God
    and would not forget his deeds
    but would keep his commands.
    8 They would not be like their ancestors—
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
    whose hearts were not loyal to God,
    whose spirits were not faithful to him.
    -Psalm 78:1-8

    ReplyDelete
  2. I greatly appreciate this post!
    As a young mom, I need this. I need to know of my responsibility of passing the baton to my daughter and to those who are not born yet. Thanks for the puling up of my britches and holding me accountable!

    IFellowship featured you and am dropping by to say "Hi" and to follow you as well!

    http://sophieandmomma.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for Pondering with me! Let me know your thoughts!