Have you ever heard someone say, “Do as I say, not as I do”? How did that work out? Did your parents say not to do something, but then you saw them do it? When it comes to working with kids or raising them, they often learn more from watching what you do than by what you say. This works with how we treat people, handle stress, anger, show affection, etc.
It’s also true when it comes to a child’s faith. Author, Chap Clarke, is known for the phrase,
“Faith is caught, not taught.”
That means for all the things we teach the children in our lives if our lives don’t reinforce it, they may not catch it. This is hard because it’s easy to tell someone else what THEY should do, but a lot harder to change what WE do.
So why am I bringing this up around Milestone Sunday? If you are a parent, volunteer, coach, aunt/uncle, or have any influence in a child’s life and faith, what you do matters more than what you say. Kids can read between the lines really well and tell if you are living out your words or just saying them. So does this mean we never have to teach kids anything, and they should watch us?! Wouldn’t that be nice…No way!
What we teach needs to be reinforced by what we do.
You may not feel confident sharing things about the Bible with the kids in your life, but here’s the thing… they don’t want a perfect person with all the answers. They want someone honest, who struggles, has questions and doubts, and is willing to walk through life with them. At some point in life, they will have all those feelings you did regarding faith.
So are you willing to be vulnerable? Are you willing to say, “I don’t know; let’s find out together?”
Kids don’t need all the answers; they need people a little further ahead in life to journey with them.
And that person is YOU. So share your faith/life with the kids in your life (gearing things to that age, of course), and watch as they start to learn over time. Not because you’re a perfect teacher but because you were willing to journey with them and were real.
I love to give resources so people can continue their own growth or grow in their parenting, so here are a few that might be helpful. But remember, they don’t need just information…they need YOU to journey with them
Author: Derek Laird
New to Faith
- 10 qualities that move you from a believer to a disciple
- The essential guide to my new life with Jesus
- Winning at Home
- Habits of the Household: Practicing the Story of God in Everyday Family Rhythms
Reading the Bible
- How we read the Bible (8 ways to engage the Bible with our students)
- Study Bible