How can we parent in faith, not fear with so much going on?
Is there a perfect solution to this question?
Let me inform you of that answer right now. No, there is no perfect way to teach faith to our children.
But, there are some strategies that any parent can use to help them parent their child in faith and not fear in the midst of today’s world.
From learning how to grow your personal faith. To trusting the process of your child’s spiritual development.
Let’s dive in.
First, I had to admit and deal with the fear I had concerning my children.
I’m not talking about fear of them getting hit by a car. Or fear of a kidnapper.
But, silent fear that felt “justifiable” to have as a parent.
Fear that subconsciously dictated my parenting decisions.
Fear that I thought made sense.
Well, I haven’t totally perfected the art of not having any fears about my children but, I have made huge strides.
And today, I want to share with you how.
Because if you’re like most parents, we all have levels of fear that we deal with concerning our children.
Sometimes, those fears can cause us to overprotect, loose sleep, or worry ourselves unnecessarily.
But if you’re ready to begin to start letting those fears go.
And become a parent of faith not fear.
Let’s start with trusting God.
TRUST GOD WITH YOUR CHILDREN
You may have prayed countless prayers of protection over your children.
Maybe they’ve been baptized, christened, or baby dedicated.
Which ever your choice, the point is you’ve done outward actions to demonstrate your trust to God for your children.
But, here’s what I had to learn.
Trusting God with your children starts long before they get here.
You have to first fill yourself with faith.
Before trusting God with a baby, a dream or anything for that matter.
You have to trust God with yourself first.
Trust that God is faithful to do what His word says He’ll do.
You have to trust Him enough to carry out whatever He is leading and guiding you to do.
Trust Him enough to know He only wants the best for you.
This faith comes by living a life in relationship with Him.
Reading His word. Making time to talk to Him. And more importantly, having the heart to obey Him.
The more you can grow in your relationship with God the more faith you will have to pour into your children.
Which leads to the second part of this process.
POUR FAITH INTO YOUR CHILDREN
I’ll admit this is much easier to do when they are little.
They’re like little sponges, just soaking it all up.
Their eyes full of excitement and joy hanging on to the words of your faith.
But, no matter their age God’s word is able to change the hearts and minds of all.
It’s never too late to begin pouring faith into your children. No matter how young or old they are.
The key is just getting that seed of faith on the inside of them.
Well, let’s look at a few strategies that I like to use.
Because I am a teacher by nature, I love this style of imparting to my children. You can choose to follow a devotional guide, a topic, a scripture, or even watch a video with a specific lesson.
The point is, it’s a great way to bring everyone on the same page with as little distractions as possible to directly teach.
In many cases, this will lead to other conversations which is totally fine. It’s a clear way for your children to see you setting aside time in your schedule for God and them.
It also communicates that teaching them God’s word is so important, that you are creating an environment for them to learn and ask questions.
FAITH BASE CURRICULUM
As a homeschooler there are plenty of faith base curriculums to choose from.
This is a convenient option because the work is already done. You just have to follow along the book.
But, even if you are using a traditional curriculum you can still infuse learning with faith.
You can create your own time for bible and devotions. Have your children write scriptures. Purchase a separate devotional work book. Or, if your children are really little starting with a bible character coloring book works great too!
I have to warn you though. As a homeschooler it can be hard at times to want to “skip” the devotion portion of learning and just get started on the academic portion.
But staying reminded of how important faith is to your family will help you stay on track.
FAITH BASE MOVIES
There are times when you can enjoy some snacks and popcorn and let the T.V. do the work for you.
We’ve recently decided to invest in Pureflix (a Christian version of Netflix). So that, we always have faith base movies right at our fingertips.
I love this option because your children are able to see themselves or scenarios from the outside looking in. It’s an entertaining way for children to see parents, life situations, consequences and more with a healthy moral of the story.
LISTENING TO WORSHIP MUSIC
You can indirectly and passively fill your home with words of faith through worship music.
I love cleaning, cooking, doing laundry etc. with worship music playing.
By default, the kids are listening. Then, they start singing and dancing along.
Worship music has a way of creating an atmosphere that is irresistible.
Whether your children only know the chorus of a song, or just a few words. Listening to God’s word with music is powerful and impactful.
FAITH IN DAILY CONVERSATIONS
This method of teaching is definitely my most natural way of pouring faith into my children.
Talk about it. In realtime conversations.
If you’ve been a parent for any length of time you already know there are countless moments throughout the day when we have teachable moments.
And almost anything we encounter with our children can be related back to God’s words and our faith.
From nature to friendships. Family, food, experiences and more. It all ties back to God.
When talking to my children in direct conversation about faith and God’s word it’s a way to deeply penetrate their hearts and mind with understanding in a personal way.
You are able to talk about a topic your child may be afraid, worried, or anxious about and show them how God’s principals can help them.
I also feel like these moments are most memorable and brings a connection with your child, God and you.
Just be mindful to not turn every situation into a learning experience. That can become overwhelming for your child.
DON’T BE AFRAID YOU WON’T FAIL
I know that may sound like a lot. But keep in my mind seasons of your family dynamics changes which will cause you to have to shift and adjust to meet the needs of your family.
Before we go any further, let me remind you of this truth. Although you may make some mistakes you won’t fail.
Even if you feel like you don’t have a “perfect” relationship with God (which none of us do). You still won’t fail.
Why? Because you’re still in the fight for your child. You haven’t quit. And you’re trying.
Listen to my words very closely. I understand the frustration you may experience at times as you wonder are your kids even listening. Is all this faith stuff really sinking in?
You see, I’ve experienced older teenage children going in the total opposite direction of all the faith and biblical teaching that we’ve taught them.
I won’t lie, that wasn’t easy to watch.
Thankfully, things are headed back in the right direction and I continue to pray for the best.
Now, of course I questioned myself as a parent if I failed my children.
But the truth is I didn’t.
You see one perspective is I had to realize is as a parent my job is to lead by example and sow the word of God in their heart.
Ultimately, we still have to trust God with our children.
Our children still have to make the ultimate decision to truly follow and serve God for themselves.
I included this video with 8 Tips for Parenting Teens from PursueGod.org to help us out more!
YOUR FAITH WILL GIVE YOU PEACE
This is where we have to find peace with ourselves and with God.
Knowing that we are doing our best to grow our faith. And in return pour faith into our children.
We can not make, force or demand faith. But show, teach and lead.
The rest, we have to leave in Gods hands.
BELIEVE IN THE PROCESS
I know at times our children’s process may look a little different then we’ve envisioned. But, everyone’s process looks different and is tailor made for them.
Some children learn faster. Some children are more observant. And some children…well, let’s just say we have to pray a little harder for them.
None the less, we have to trust they will grow and mature as they go through their spiritual development.
PARENTING IN FAITH NOT FEAR
As a parent, we have to be assured that God has faith in us as parents over our children.
That’s why He gave them to us.
No matter how they came to us.
Planned, unplanned. Adopted, through marriage. Biological or surrogate. Your children are your children for a reason.
God placed words, skills, abilities and love on the inside of you for you to deposit to your child.
He’s counting on you to do your best and leave the rest up to Him.
But even bigger than that, let’s remember that God is rooting your child on too. God has faith in your child to be not only what you instill in them but to ultimately be who He created them to be.
So, how do we parent in faith and not fear?
- Grow your personal faith
- Trust God with your children
- Pour faith into your children (starting at the youngest age possible)
- Stay in peace
- Trust the process
That’s it for now. Until next time.