If passing on your faith to your child is important to you...
Parents always want the best for their children. Some lavish all the attention and love the children need and this is manifested in diverse ways. There is one aspect, however, which is so important that it has to be classified as a priority in the upbringing of the kids, and this is, to develop in them a strong faith in God.
Definition of Faith
The Bible defines faith as the evidence of things not seen. That means that faith cannot be seen through the human eye, but it does work in a way God alone knows how. It has to be aimed at with great determination, and God bestows it as a free gift to those who ask for it. Before it can be developed in the kids, however, a pre-requisite is that the parents themselves possess it and model it to their children by practicing it.
Guidelines for Developing a Strong Faith in God
The kids, who are within the age group of 5 to 12 years, are the most receptive and it is easy to impress on their minds and hearts how to have a strong faith in God. Following are some tips on how this can be done:
1. Awareness of God in Creation
At times, accompany your kids for a walk in the garden or any other place where nature is more apparent, and show them the beauty of plants, flowers, trees, rivers, mountains, fields, etc. Make them aware that these cannot exist or continue to exist without Someone Who is making this possible. Gardeners and farmers may water them but it is God Who allows them to grow or maintain their beauty. They provide our food, water, medicine, houses and many other things we use. By doing this, the kids will be led to elevate their thoughts to an unseen God Whom we have to praise and thank with all our hearts.
2. Telling of Stories about Persons Who Had Strong Faith in God
There are many available stories from books sold in bookstores about the lives of grown-ups, who because of a child's deep faith in God, were rewarded with many gifts, not only material, but also peace, joy, love, good friends, protection from danger, and all what they could wish or ask for, so long as it was for their good. This faith has been practiced since they were young, and it bore fruit in adulthood, with great success.
3. Responding to the Goodness of God
Doing all what God expects us to do, as asked by Him in the Ten Commandments, would be a good way of responding to God's goodness. The commandments should be explained to the kids. Encourage them also, to pray daily from their hearts, in their own words, the four kinds of prayer of praise, thanks, contrition, and petition. Their activities during the day could, likewise, be offered to God as prayer.
4. Developing Love and Care for Self and Others
God wants us to take good care of ourselves and others as far as we can. The kids could be guided how to take care of their health, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Herein some examples may be cited: Eating properly, getting enough rest, studying well, doing religious duties, and trying to behave... all to be done for the love of God. They must be conscious always of trying to help others, especially those in need.
5. Continuing Faith in God despite "Little Trials"
Sometimes, the kids may encounter difficulties, in spite of trying their best to maintain a strong faith in God. They should know that these are allowed by God to try them how far they can go in their relationship with Him. They should just go on and on until they succeed. Who knows what they are aiming at or wishing for is not good for them or there might be something better in store for them. They will soon see WHY, as the days go by.
Parents are ingenious in finding added ways of training their kids to develop a strong faith in God.
If all kids are guided to have a strong faith in God, there will be no doubt that this world can become a better place to live in! There will be better grown-ups...better citizens in the years to come!