Many parents aren’t sure exactly how to create a spiritual legacy for their kids. Mary DeMuth shares some effective ways to get started. — Jana Magruder
Here are three simple practices you can share with the parents in your ministry that can help.
1. Be the person you want your kids to become.
Kids are leaving the church at an alarming rate, particularly in college when their worldview is challenged for the first time. The question kids return to is, “Is Jesus real?” If they grew up in a home where Jesus was talked about, but not emulated, the confusion widens. Parents must live what they want to see in their kids, not simply tell them things they must do to live moral lives. Children need to see their parents worship, pray, read the Bible, and obey. Parents’ actions and passion carry more weight than one thousand words.
2. Weave the Bible into everyday life.
Read the Bible or do family-centric activities around a principle or Scripture. It takes time and intentionality. Parents can also choose to speak Scripture with their kids, memorizing alongside, or sharing verses when they apply to life. This is more of a live-your-life-alongside-your-kids proposition, not only relying on weekly or daily habits, but having a holy readiness to share the Bible in the in-between times.
3. Eat together as a family.
Gathering around a dinner table does more to prevent drug abuse, sexual experimentation and a host of other social ills than any other activity, recent studies have shown. Slow your lives down enough to eat together. Say no to crazy-busy activity. Children will have a lifetime to explore their interests, but parents only have a short window to pour their faith into their children. Dinner is an especially vulnerable, open time (as is bedtime). Debrief the day. Have kids share highs and lows. Ask great questions. Counsel. Pray.
Mary DeMuth is the author of over a dozen books including, The Wall Around Your Heart and You Can Raise Courageous and Confident Kids. She’s spoken around the world and loves to help families live uncaged, freedom-infused lives. Find out more at marydemuth.com.