Most parents want to pass along their faith and values to their children. But it’s difficult with so many negative influences and images that flood our screens.
In fact, a study conducted by the Pew Research Center last year found that millennials are walking away from Christianity in record numbers.
This statistic worries me. I’m worried because my husband and I plan to start a family within the next couple of years, and we want our children to follow our faith.
But if I’m being completely honest, I can admit that I had serious questions about my faith in my early 20s.
And I had these doubts even though my parents were fervent in their faith, dragged me and my siblings to church every time the doors were open and held regular family devotions. I believed in God. But I just didn’t see the benefits of following Him. I mean, we did all the ‘right things’ but bad stuff still happened to us.
On the other hand, my husband has always been steadfast in his faith. And I think the main difference is how we were raised to view God.
In my house, God was seen as a judge that rained down harshness on the disobedient. So when bad stuff happened, I just assumed I deserved it.
However in his house, God was seen as a father. So when bad stuff happened, it was just a part of life that God would see them through. I think the way he was raised is closer to the truth because the Good Book says:
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33)
If you think about it, many teens and young adults go through an era of rediscovery as they gain more independence. In that journey, they’ll likely confront a world of new and lurid temptations. Now would you want to navigate those experiences with an angry, judgmental father eyeing you along the way? Or would you much rather appreciate a father who wants to shield you from and guide you through those threats—regardless of the mistakes you make along the way?
So perhaps we as future parents should introduce our kids to God as a loving father figure—a God who is more interested in protecting than punishing.
I don’t have any answers in this post. But I imagine other hopeful parents have similar questions and concerns about how to raise children of faith. The thing is, there is a lot of wisdom in this BMWK community of millions. So if you have insight on raising children to follow God…please PLEASE share with us.
BMWK: What tips do you have for passing along faith to your children?