Church is important. Gathering for worship is an anchor for anyone who follows Jesus. But when it comes to building faith in your kids, Christian parents can’t rely on the church alone. It’s a mathematical situation: the church has maybe two or three hours with your kids a week and the home has the other 165 or so!
There is a sense of urgency when it comes to inviting your children to know and love God’s word! And the urgency can propel us to action. But what action? It seems daunting for parents to think about helping their children grow in faith. Maybe it’s difficult to even think of the first step. Some might even wonder if they are qualified to teach their children about God’s word and the things of faith.
We recently sat down with Matt Friedeman, Professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS. Among other things, he has written a book called Discipleship In The Home and it’s a must-have for every Christian Family with children or teens living at home. It could also be great for grandparents, too (and at the time of this post, Matt is preparing to republish this work with updated info for grandparents).
So if it’s important to build up the faith and knowledge of God’s word what can you do to begin?
One step you can take today…
Every Christian home is a miniature temple and every dinner table is an altar.
The dinner table, it’s a great place for memorizing scripture, praying, and learning the basic principles of the faith.
What if you take just a few minutes before dinner (or whatever meal you’re having together that day) to talk through some questions or scriptures and learn them. In fact, in Matt’s book, he has a list of 122 questions and answers that children and students should know as they are growing in faith. What if the table becomes the altar where children and students learn this stuff? Can you imagine, in about a year, your kids knowing the Lord’s prayer, the Beatitudes, the books of the Bible, or the most important scriptures? Can you imagine how it could transform their lives and yours?
Maybe it seems like a lot to change the flow of mealtime and learn the Sermon on the Mount and more! So, how does a family learn this all? A little bit added here and there will snowball into knowing so much in a year!
If you can’t do 10 or 15 minutes before dinner, can you do five? Can you learn one verse this week? Can you memorize half the Lord’s prayer? Can you talk about a scripture verse?
When you really think about it, it becomes obvious that the amount of time we have at home outweighs most all the other times your kids spend anywhere! As Christian parents – you are their teachers and guides for their spiritual lives and discipleship. You’re modeling for them how to follow Jesus.
Here are a couple of quotes from the podcast:
“If you’re counting on the church only, your kids probably won’t be won’t be Christians in 20 years.”
Just a few minutes before a meal of talking about Scripture, prayer and Jesus will do amazing things in the life of your child, in your life, and in your home in general!
Since we recorded this podcast, I have been giving this a try! We have started with question number one of the 122 questions in the Hidden In The Heart Catechism. We’re answering them together and it’s been awesome! If you have young children, now is a perfect time. If you have older kids, it’s still a great time. If you have grandkids, buy the book for your kids to begin the process.
If this is just one more thing among the many, it may not stick. That’s why it’s important to know the reason behind this… For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things… (1 Tim. 4:8).
I’ve been inspired by this snowball effect! Of course, kids have school, activities, church groups, study, sports, social stuff and more… but they are still your kids and you want them to grow up and follow Jesus. Most all of these other activities would fall into the “physical training”, but godliness – that has supreme value! A little bit each day and week will add up to some tremendous heart work in the life of your family over the course of the next year! You will have a home discipleship program and that is something you need.
The main thing in life is to know and love God and too often our priority for Jesus and things of faith gets sidetracked! Determine to raise up faith in your children.