Sharing & Building Your Own Faith
From the time children are small, they idolize their parents and want to be like them. The moments that you spend sharing about your faith and the role it has played in your own life are invaluable in your child’s own faith journey and willingness to follow God’s call.
If you are looking for guidance during this time, be sure to note that this is an excellent opportunity to model the Christian life. Grow in your daily prayers, study, worship and service. Be open to the things you do not know, struggle with, and are working on. Remember that the Christian life is not one of “arriving” but of faithfully following.
If you have experienced moments of doubt or struggled with your faith at times, be open to sharing that with your teenager or young adult. Life is a journey of ups and downs, and young people benefit from knowing that everyone experiences both hills and valleys, but that God is present through it all.
Even if you are just starting out in your faith walk, don’t worry about having all the answers or that your teen might “know more than you.” The simple act of talking about what we know and believe, and what we don’t, can open channels of communication that blossom over time. If your teen has questions about God or their faith that you don’t feel equipped to answer, invite your pastor or a knowledgeable friend or family member that you trust into the conversation with you.
- Disciple Bible Study (a long-term, in-depth group Bible study)
- BeADisciple.com (online classes on a variety of faith topics)
Here are some tips for talking about and modeling faith with your teen:
- Talk about common experiences. When you worship, watch movies, or attend events together, ask for their thoughts afterward. Be mindful of the types of questions you ask – avoid those that can be answered with a yes or a no. Some prompts that encourage deeper processing are:
- Tell me about something from today’s sermon that stood out to you.
- How did you feel when the boy in the movie was bullied by his classmate? Have you ever seen something like that happen? How did you respond?
- Our nurse today seemed so passionate about what she does. I wonder what classes she took in school that made her interested in nursing?
- Let your teen see you reading the Bible, attending Bible Study, and serving in your church and community. Invite them to join you whenever possible.