When I was a young adult I frequently heard the saying that faith is “caught not taught” and that has stuck with me as a parent. What my children see me doing as a follower of Jesus will shape them more than what I say. But here’s the rub: if I never teach my children what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, how will they know how to follow?
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states: "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” These verses remind parents that we are the primary teachers of the faith to our children, not our church’s Youth Pastor or Children’s Director or Sunday School teacher.
This has been made clear during the current pandemic. The family unit is together in the home and can no longer rely on heading off to church to “get taught”.
This is a challenge and a blessing in disguise. It can seem daunting for those of us who didn’t grow up doing family devotions and don’t even know where to start. Your children may not sit still and your teenagers may make those teenage faces as they balk. However, the continued practice of reading scripture and praying together will deepen your family life.
Here are some resources that can help out:
- F.A.M.I.L.Y. Worship: A post in Christianity Today that walks you through a simple process of how you can lead your kids in a time of family devotions as your family presses into Jesus. https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/march/family-worship-during-covid-19.html
- Church at Home by the Gospel Project. Their goal has always been to create Bible resources that serve families, small groups, house churches, and individuals. https://bibleproject.com/church-at-home/
- Now’s the Time! Resources for Family Devotions by The Gospel Coalition. The article starts “A friend once asked me, ‘Do you really do family devotions every morning . . . with teenagers? How do you get them to do that?’”. That caught me! https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/melissa-kruger/today-the-perfect-time-to-start-family-devotions/
- This may seem obvious, but the worship and sermons posted on the ERBF website every Sunday are a great opportunity for your family. Take the opportunity to pause the sermon and talk about a point the preaching pastor made, or to look up the references mentioned. Take some time for prayer (popcorn style can be less intimidating) afterward as a way to engage and pray for each other and the world.
- A fun Bible education for younger kids are the videos What's in the Bible" by Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales. TYou can take them out of our church library by appointment and they are available on Right Now Media. The teaching is excellent and its funny enough your older kids might not mind it, either.
Blessings on you and your family as you grow spiritually as a family!