Sunday, September 1, 2013

My Kids and Religion

Questions I asked myself today at church:
What is my short term goal regarding my children and their walk with God?
What is my long term goal regarding my children and their walk with God?
How am I going to help them achieve this?

First, I suppose I should start with my own experience:
In middle school we moved towns.  Prior to moving, we (me, my sister and my mom) attended church every Sunday.  My twin sister and I would go to a church camp every summer.  When we were 10, we decided to give our life to Christ and got baptized.  

Then we moved, and it all stopped.  No more going to church, no more church camp, no religion at all (except for the Christmas story during the holidays, and prayer at the Thanksgiving).  I really can't give you a reason either.  I was probably old enough to request to attend church, but that thought never occurred to me at the time.  Aren't your parents supposed to MAKE you go to church, not the other way round?  Instead, on Sunday I would laze about and at the age of 16 started working on Sundays without giving it a second thought.

In college, I went to church on Sunday asking for forgiveness for my behavior (or lack of Christian behavior) from the previous week.  Isn't that what all college kids did?  Then, after hearing a sermon that bothered me, I stopped going.

Fast forward quite a few years.  I had married a Christian man (Methodist, if you're curious).  We, as a couple never attended church together and seemed to both have the inability to start going again after such a long pause in our faith. 

Then, Nolan came.  We wanted something greater for him.  To give him a good foundation, to depend on someone greater than mom and dad.  So, to be quite honest, we started going back to church for him.  

  Here are some desires I have for my children and am working on daily:
  • Make it a habit to give thanksgiving to God.  To feel grateful for all we have, because we really don't deserve any of it.  
  • To know there is someone greater than himself, someone more loving than mom and dad, someone he can always depend on and lean on.
  • To rely on the words of the Bible as truth.  To find his own meaning in those books and to look to them if he has a question that no one can answer.
  • To know that, even though all the statistics say that he will walk away from his faith during college, he will always be accepted by God, always have forgiveness in Him.
We've been lucky to have a child with a desire to learn about God.  It honestly gives me goosebumps and brings tears to my eyes when I hear him sing our worship songs in church, or be so proud of himself that he got a Holy Bible and can read it himself. 

I honestly don't know how long this desire for faith will last.  We might hit a few bumps in the road as he gets older; but as long as the foundation is there that we've been working so hard for the past 6 years (and hopefully for many more) to lay, I think (and pray) he'll turn in to a Godly man. 

Oh, almost forgot.  My short term goal for my child's faith:
  • Make it through Big Church
  • For him to listen during Children's Time and not act like a ninja or a big clock (I know, odd).  
Hoping you find your own desires for your children and their faith.  It's going to be hard work, but the outcome will be fantastic. :)