I would love to know the age of your kids. (Please post a comment to let us know). My oldest turns fourteen in May and my youngest just turned eleven. I have noticed that passing my faith to my children seemed so much easier when they were younger. They were like little sponges, usually eager to learn Bible verses and other things I tried to teach them. Well, not so much anymore. Now I'm the sponge who is listening to all the wisdom I can get from other Christ-loving parents who have special insights into the hearts of teens. One thing I am learning is that it's not so much what I say, but how I live that influences their faith most.
Today, Suzie Eller is back to pick up from where we left off yesterday. She surveyed hundreds of teens for her book, "Real Issues, Real Teens: What Every Parents Needs to Know, " and this week she's telling us what they said about how parents can hinder or help their faith. Here is what she wrote:
Your teen will hear a thousand messages about faith in their lifetime, most of them from people who don’t believe. So what we show our children about faith becomes even more vital.
But what are we teaching them? I talked with hundreds of teens and they said there are four things that parents do that can make faith difficult to comprehend. Yesterday, I shared two common mistakes, and today I have two more:Mistake #3—Hypocrisy
Mistake #4—Fail to Support Them In Their Faith
A few years ago a teen stood outside the church. She had been gone for several weeks and had not responded to phone calls. She put my hand on her stomach. Pregnant! I wanted to cry. Several weeks earlier we had a powerful youth service. It went longer than usual. Parents waited outside while the teens prayed. I watched this teen. She was on the outskirts, but I could see the longing. As she walked toward the altar, her parent burst through the door and took her by the arm. She was angry because she had to wait in the car.
It was inconvenient. She did have to wait too long. But I wonder what the teen lost that night.
If you deliver your teen to a youth event or have been asked to pull out one more dollar for a youth activity, you are investing in your teen’s spiritual life. Right now, there are parents who are on their knees crying out to God for their unsaved teens. If your teen is running toward God, take a moment and thank God—and then run with him.
Tomorrow I'll be traveling with my girlfriends to Texas for our Girls Night/Day Out with KSBJ on Thursday. I would treasure your prayers for safe travel and for everything leading up to the event, and for me to not be nervous but completely consumed by God's grace and overflowing with HIM! Before I leave, I'll be sharing my story of learning how to pass on my faith to my kids when they were younger. Although I said it was easier when they were younger, I didn't mean it was easy. But there was a day in March 1999 that God gave me a whole new perspective and sense of purpose as a mom. It changed my life and our family as God showed us how to make Him part of our everyday lives.
See ya tomorrow!
Copyright 2009, Renee Swope - All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries is giving a copy of Suzie's book, Real Issues, Real Teens: What Every Parents Needs to Know .
D6 is giving away one of the conference speakers' resources - Angela Thomas' best-seller "My Single Mom Life". (A great book for all moms, single or married. From overcoming mommy guilt, loneliness, setting healthy boundaries to living the amazing life God has for you and your kids, Angela covers it all. I am reading it and loving it!)
PS. Be sure to sign up soon for the D6Conference! Early registration ends February 2nd.