Success as a parent is elusive. It seems as if the target is always moving. At bare minimum, it’s overwhelming to think about all the areas we hope to raise our children successfully. There are academics. There are athletics. There is character. There is social awareness. There is independence. And these are just the first few that came to mind. Areas that a parent is seeking to raise a child into an adult. Areas where we are trying to be successful. But there is one other area that parents are seeking to be successful. Religion.
Religious convictions are not always viewed as a positive thing – especially in our current culture. Religion has been to blame for a number of evils throughout history and current culture. However, religion has also been the cause of countless blessings to humankind and positively influential in where we find ourselves today. Regardless of their view of religion or what religion people may be, parents desire to successfully pass along religion. Parents of various religious backgrounds have another area where failure seems certain – passing on the faith.
Well, there is good news and bad news there. As parents pursue to succeed in raising their kids in areas of faith, they must recognize the power of their influence. They must see themselves as the greatest single authority in things of faith. This is not just a religious conviction, but a sociological reality. But how does one influence the faith of your children in a positive way? Christian Smith gives one overarching suggestion and three points of how that looks in his article “Keeping the Faith“.
Whether you are a parent or not, you know how influential your parents were in your life – for good or bad. Our parents impact us deeply. Unfortunately, that is not always positive. However, a parent’s impact can be a deeply forming force for good in the lives of the next generation. This is especially true when it comes to the area of faith and religion.
Parents – you can be successful in what matters most: passing on the faith. While there is no guarantee kids will embrace or reject the faith, God (and sociological science) has made one thing clear: nothing in this world outweighs your impact on your children. So be courageous, convictional, compassionate, and above all else, live your faith every day in everywhere before your children.
As always I love hearing from my readers and be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s Day.
Until Next Time…