Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Building Faith In Children As A New Christian

Are you a parent like me - new to Christianity? I didn't grow up going to church and wasn’t exposed to the church until 12 years ago when I met my wife. Early on I was able to grow in my new faith at my own pace, and challenge myself along the way. Then - six years ago - children entered the picture. Now I’m facing the challenge of growing the faith of my children when I’m still new to my own faith. How do I know if they will believe what I’m saying, or even if what I’m saying is correct?
I think for new believers this can be one of the biggest challenges we face when trying to raise children. How do we build the faith of our young children, when we are still building our own?

I’ve found in the last couple of years is that it is not easy, but taking small (child-like) steps really helps. One of the first things I started when my son was young was reading the Bible to him. We were given a children’s Bible from Trinity Church. He seemed to enjoy it and it was the first time I had heard some of these stories as well.
When my son got to be between 4 and 5 we went to a Christian bookstore together and picked out the next level Bible - fewer pictures and more details in the stories. Each night I was not only learning the stories, I was building his faith. (Along with my own!) Over the past few years we’ve read 2 Bibles, a couple of devotionals and Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn.
Reading to my son has made it much easier to transfer my head and heart knowledge of Christianity to my daughters. It seems to be easier because my confidence level is higher (At least not everything I read is brand new...) and I find myself looking for opportunities to talk to them about God and what it means to be a Christian.

How about you? How has having a family impacted your faith? And how are you impacting theirs?

~Jim Richards, guest blogger

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Jim.
    I grew up in a home where we prayed at dinner and bedtime, and went to church every Sunday. But we never talked about God. He wasn't real to me. I didn't know Him until I went away to college and someone introduced me to Him.
    I want to do everything I can to build my children's faith. Praying with them, reading the Bible with them, talking about God in the midst of the every day 'stuff.'
    I don't have all the answers, nor do I know all the How To's, but I know God loves my children and I'm trusting Him to work through me.