Why Don’t Kids Own their Parents’ Faith?
We all want to do well in raising our kids. We want to see them be successful, responsible adults. We want to see them be good and attend church. That's just not enough. Personally and more importantly than anything, I want to see my kids have a passionate, radical obedience to the Lord no matter the cost--ready to lose their lives for the gospel. How do we pass this on to our kids? So many leave church who are raised in church. What's the key?
I don’t have a perfect answer to this nor have I “achieved.” There are several factors that can contribute to the lostness of any child. (I’m just addressing one.) Is it important to evaluate this? Oh, yes. I’m raising kids. Pastors’ have a clear mandate in Scripture that their kids are not “unruly” so this matters and is something I have to take seriously as the partner/helper to my husband. (This is not just a mandate; this factors in as a qualification.) One thing that screams to me as the culprit of wayward kids is not the “goodness” of a home but the “fakeness” of a home.
What draws us to Christ? It’s the raw genuineness of talking about how God spoke to you through His Word, repenting, and changing as a result of it. It’s apologizing to your kids when you’re dumb and act foolishly. It’s being kind and like Christ behind the closed doors of your home. It’s wives honoring their lazy husbands. No one likes what is fake. That’s why thousands upon thousands are crying out for authenticity.
If I look in the mirror and see a dirty face, broccoli in my teeth, and messed up hair, and go away and leave it just like that, no one would want to be around me. People who are in their right minds will clean up. When James 1:23-24 says, “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like,” it’s a reminder that you are deceived. No one wants to be around this. For us to hear God’s truth, know what we need to change, and not respond, creates an unhealthy atmosphere. It fosters fakeness.
God has called us to listen to Him and to genuinely respond in a real walk with Him. When our kids or anyone else sees it, it draws them to the “perfect law of liberty”—seeing that it has set us free. Let me encourage you to look into God’s Word everyday, listening everyday, and responding in obedience to what you see. It’s not only healthy for you spiritually but will be one of the biggest influencers in the lives of your children and those around you. Be real, responsive, and remember this truth whenever you see a mirror!