Sometimes the children of Christian parents grow up and decide faith isn’t for them. You can’t force religion on a child, nor can you force the child to maintain it into adulthood. However, there are some ways to instill faith in your kids that will make them more likely to treasure it and pass it down.
Make God a Member of Your Family
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were encouraged to talk about God and His laws “as you walk along the road; when you lie down and when you get up… [and] teach these words to your children.” Here are a few ways to make God a crucial part of family life:
- Pray often. Grace before meals is a good idea, but add other prayers too.
- Have family devotions, and encourage older children to read the Bible on their own.
- Make participation in church mandatory—and make sure your church is family-oriented.
Don’t Use Pat Answers
The Bible is a crucial part of Christian life, but it’s not always G-rated. Your kids, especially the older ones, are going to come to you with tough questions. They’ll want to know why God allows people to die, why He doesn’t stop bad things from happening, and more. For young children, keep explanations simple. Focus on how God is all-powerful but also loving and merciful. Explain that sometimes there are consequences for our actions, but God doesn’t stop loving us when we sin or fail. Older kids will be more prepared to hear about imperfect people and focus on the fact that the Bible is a true story about fallible human beings.