As parents, it can be super difficult to watch our older children or teenagers lose interest in attending church. We may wonder how to draw the line between forcing religion and enacting spiritual leadership. How do we have peace when our child's heart is in God's hands?Phil Comer, author of "Raising Passionate Jesus Followers," states, "Our job as parents is not to create perfect kids but to pursue our own relationship with God and live it out in front of them."He is emphasizing the importance of modeling a strong faith as parents.By modeling a strong faith, we create an environment where our children can see and learn from our example. It also creates a space where our children feel comfortable asking questions and exploring their own beliefs.
We must do our best to have an open dialogue with our children. It is important to have a lot of conversations. Ask them what they think about God and what they think about faith. Then listen to their responses. By actively listening to our children's thoughts and feelings, we can create a safe and supportive space for them to explore their own beliefs. This can also help us understand their doubts and questions about faith and allow us to guide them toward their own spiritual growth.
Phil Comer emphasizes this by stating, "We can't force our kids to believe. We can't force our kids to have faith. We can guide them, we can inspire them, but ultimately, they have to choose for themselves." This insight has been super helpful for me. Forcing religion can create resentment and a sense of rebellion in our children, while spiritual leadership involves guiding and encouraging them toward their own spiritual growth.Ultimately, as followers of Jesus, we must trust that our kid’s hearts are in God's hands. We must have faith that God is working in our kid’s hearts and lives, even if we cannot see it. This should involve praying for our children constantly and asking God to guide them on their faith journey.Raising our kids to follow Jesus requires a balance of spiritual leadership and open dialogue with our children. By modeling a strong faith, creating a safe and supportive space for our children to explore their beliefs, and trusting in God's plan, we can support our children on their faith journey while giving them space for their individual choices and experiences. Remember, our job as parents is not to create perfect kids but to pursue our own relationship with God and live it out in front of them.
Husband to Andrea and father to Hannah and Rachel (#GirlDad). An extrovert who loves all things Bible. Always down for a cup of coffee and a good hang. Communications Director at Sun Valley Community Church.