Note: This article by Focus on the Family President Jim Daly appears in full on Fox News.
Once upon a time, the vast majority of Americans were affiliated with a particular faith community or tradition: Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, or Jewish, for example.
In recent years, though, secularism has been growing and a new wave of either atheism or agnosticism is rolling across the country. It may be true that a degree of “unbelief” has always existed, but with rising rates of people unaffiliated with any church or faith at all, the likelihood of interacting and being influenced by a person who believes in a higher power is similarly depressed.
Which then begs the question – with fewer people pursuing meaning beyond the here and now, how are interested parents supposed to introduce and pass on faith to their children?
Based on years of research and real-life experience, and from my perspective as an evangelical Christian, here are five things that work together to develop a child’s faith.
1. Be a parent who lives out what you believe.
It would be impossible to overstate the power and influence of example. If your kids don’t see you praying or being actively involved in church, why should they bother going to Sunday School or spend time reading their Bible?
Our kids need to see our faith woven into everyday life. For example, when you drive by a car accident, perhaps you could say, “Kids, let’s pray for them.” And then do it.
Also, resist the urge to water down biblical doctrine to conform with modern-day sensibilities. Pick a church that actually preaches in accordance to God’s word.
2. Introduce your kids to other adults who affirm what you believe.
It’s good for children to interact with other people outside the home who believe as passionately as you do. “Faith interactions” shouldn’t be limited to Sunday morning. Find relatives, coaches, scout leaders or other mentor types who you can trust and arrange for their paths to cross with your son or daughter.
Old King Solomon said it best: “He who walks with the wise grows wise.”
For more, please read the full article on Fox News.