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Title: Sharing Religion with Our Children

Category: Positive Parenting


      How do we share our faith with our children?  Is it important?  In the fast paced dangerous world of unlimited quasi-religions fooling our children, it is very important that we share our faith and religion with them.  Moses said that we should teach God's law when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down, and when we get up.  (Deuteronomy 6:7)  How do we do that?  Simply by sharing and by living our faith honestly, and by sharing our experiences on a daily basis whenever questions come up.  We can explain why we make certain choices, why we hold certain values and attitudes dear, and relate them to our faith in God.     In living our faith we should be sincere and try to live what we preach.  We should pray regularly and attend church regularly with our children.  If we make nightly prayer a ritual when the children are young it will become a lifelong habit.  Children are naturally drawn to faith and religion if it is shared lovingly and enthusiastically.

      Children will see the love of God through you as you live a life of love.  If you love your children unconditionally and you love and serve those around you, your children will respond to that love.  The way you handle anger is a reflection of your faith.  Teach your children to handle anger calmly and maturely and not to be overly authoritative and demanding.  As your children grow older and have questions and opportunities to avoid their involvement in your religion it is important not to pressure them too much.  If you over pressure your children they might reject it.  Religion taught and shared to young children is like a bedrock of stability.  They can return to it at any time in their life and usually will. 

      How do we model God's love in our lives as parents?  Are we forgiving, understanding, empathetic, gentle, and fair?  If we are then our actions will model the values and lifestyle we want our children to follow.  Occasionally children will test the limits of our rules.  At these times we can simply say "This is the way it is in the family".  These are the rules and because we love you we insist that you follow these rules and live within the guidelines of our religion and of God's universal laws.  In other words, lying, stealing, committing adultery and other things which God teaches us not to do, not only hurt us, but hurt others.  These laws are universal and have consequences.  That's the way the universe works and if you go against these laws, they will "backfire on you."

      In the Old Testament, God told the Israelites to write his words on the doorpost and lintels, on their hand and on their forehead.  In other words they were to make God's word and truth central in the home.  When you walk into a home characterized by God's love and faith you can feel it.  Our homes must reflect this type of genuine faith in order to guide our children in growing and living their faith.  We should read the Bible, strive to understand it, and act on it as parents and as a family.  Regular church attendance and practicing our faith through the seasons of the year, special religious days and ceremonies and especially praying as a family is important.  When opportunities come up to teach our children such as when they gossip or treat someone in a non-loving way, we must do so.  There are stories and answers for every lesson we need to teach our children throughout the Bible.