Who is responsible for the faith development of our children and youth? Some would say that the Sunday school teachers are responsible. That is why we send our children to Sunday school. Others would say that the pastor is responsible. We enroll our children in confirmation so that they would mature in their faith.
Even though the pastor and Sunday school teachers share some of the responsibilities I believe the primary responsibility for faith development belongs in the home. The church only has a child one or two hours out of the week, not a lot of time to make a difference in a child’s life.
So how can a parent or parents help their child grow in their relationship with Jesus? I will share a couple of suggestions.
- Teach your child to pray. Pray at meal times. When you put a child to bed even at a very young age you can say a bedtime prayer.
- Read your Bible. I remember a 3rd grade girl saying to me that her daddy drinks his cup of coffee and reads his Bible every morning after breakfast. What a wonderful example you are giving your child when they see you reading your Bible. But also read Bible storybooks to your children when they are young. As they grow older you can read or have your children read Bible stories to you.
- Talk about your faith. I remember my dad telling me that the reason he gave so generously to the church was because he believed God had spared his life during WW II and his giving was a way to show his thankfulness to God. It is important to share our convictions and beliefs about God with your children.
- Be an example for them. If you drop off your children for Sunday school but never worship, your children will soon figure out that church is not very important. When you worship regularly, attend adult classes, and volunteer your time you provide a wonderful example of how important your Christian faith is to you.
Raising a child in our modern world is not an easy task now days. The importance of a growing faith in Jesus Christ is very important. The church and Sunday school is here to help. But we can not do it alone. We need the help of all the parents.