FAITH DOES START AT HOME
18 Jul, 2014
According to research by a number of different groups now faith really does start at home.
Roberto, Black and Martinson say that "Contrary to misguided cultural stereotypes and frequent parental misconceptions, we believe that the single most important social influence on the religious and spiritual lives of adolescents (Children) is their parents. Grandparents and other relatives, mentors and youth workers can be very influential as well, but normally, parents are most important in forming their children's religious and spiritual lives" (Roberto, Black and Martinson, 2010 quoting their research)
There is no dodging the bullet on this one. We can pay thousands of dollars to give our children a Christian education which is great…. We can take our children to the best churches, summer camps, youth rallies, pathfinders and other special events. However the research is in and what it says confronts me as a parent and as a pastor.
Children are more likely to adopt the faith of their parents. You can’t take your children on a journey to the foot of the cross unless you have been there yourself. Yes all of our church's programs and indeed a Christian education can help. This should however be the icing on the cake. When it all boils down, the crux of the matter is this. If you want your children to have faith…. then be faithful yourself!
Roberto, Black and Martinson conclude that...
"…The best social predictor, although not a guarantee, of what the religious and spiritual lives of youth (children) will look like is what the religious and spiritual lives of their parents look like. Parents and other adults most likely will get what they are. This recognition may be empowering to parents, or alarming, or both. But it is fact worth taking seriously.”
So what are you doing daily, weekly, monthly, yearly to show your children what faith looks like? How does God work for you in the good times but also in the not so good times? How does God work for your home, workplace, university and bowling green. Know that your children are watching and when they see how God works for you they are more likely to adopt the faith as well.
The question is “Are you playing for keeps?”
As one of my favourite college lecturers used to say, “This is where the rubber really does meet the road!”
(Daron hops off his soapbox and mumbling wanders on into the busy street).