LIVING OUT YOUR FAITH AT HOME
Have you ever been given a job that you had no idea what to do or how to complete it? Well, that’s how most parents feel when it comes to raising children. It’s one thing for people to do a job they know how to do, but it’s quite another story when they don’t know what to do.
The Bible gives a simple and straightforward job for parents: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Pro. 22:6). Simple enough? Not a chance.
However, it is important that you remember that your family is a gift from God. Which means, God, in His infinite wisdom, entrusted you with this family. He has placed faith in you and has given you all you need to “train up” your family as commanded.
A big part of living out your faith in the home is to know how to train up your child in the ways of God. And to do that, let’s first examine the word train. The Hebrew meaning of the word train used in Proverbs 22:6 has a rich meaning that involves initiating instruction, cultivating a desire, and reinforcing good habits and interests. Therefore, the role of a parent is to cultivate a desire within the child to live rightly and instruct them based on their natural desires and distinctive abilities. The goal of parents is not to dominate the child, but develop the child’s moral character and natural characteristics, whatever they may be.
One of the biggest biblical tips to living out your faith at home is displaying a marriage of love and respect. Husbands are commanded to love their wives, and wives are commanded to respect their husbands (Eph. 5:33). This not only sets the tone for the rest of the family but most importantly, it also sets the standard in which the parents and children operate from.
A second biblical tip to living out your faith at home is teach the Bible to your children from infancy. Paul praised Timothy’s family for teaching him the Holy Scriptures from “infancy.” Parents, this is extremely important because it is the Holy Scriptures that will make your child “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).
A third biblical tip is to instruct and discipline your children in the Lord. A mighty command to fathers is not to discourage their children, but to train them and instruct them in the Lord (Eph. 6:4). This is a big responsibility for dads, and has certainly been in a weak area in most Christian homes. If we are going to see a shift in the “mass exodus” of young people from church—then it’s going to take dad’s stepping up and obeying Ephesians 6:4.
A fourth biblical tip is live out God’s Word to your children every day. A famous parenting passage puts it like this: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deut. 6:7). You may be surprised, but children love to engage their parents in biblical conversation. The more parents keep the Word of God at the center of their home, the easier it will be to apply it in day-to-day situations.
A fifth biblical tip is seek out opportunities to teach your children God’s commandments. Moses gives parents this powerful reminder: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them” (Deut. 4:9). Parents often miss so many great opportunities to teach their children about God. Rather than get carried away in the day, pray for moments to spend with your child. Don’t be anxious about what to say or how to say it. Just relax and trust the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the conversation. In these “God opportunities,” a great way to embark on teaching your child about God’s commandments is to share stories about your life.
The sixth and finally biblical tip is to prepare the next generation to trust in God’s power. The Psalmist declares: “What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (Ps. 78:6-7).
There are no guarantees that children will turn out right. But that isn’t up to parents; it’s up to God. Children who were taught the Scriptures will never forget their truths in their lives. The message from the Bible is this: When a parent fulfills his or her role in their child’s life, that child will have a far greater chance fulfilling their role in life.