If you’ve seen my recent updated About page you will see that passing on faith is important to me. Why do I believe that passing on faith at home is important? Firstly as I’ve said in previous articles you pass on faith and values to your children whether or not you are intentional about. This is all faith and values and not just Christian ones.
Milestones Ministry and others talk about the 5 principles of faith formation. With the 1st principle being about the fact that faith is formed through personal, trusted relationships – often in homes. Much research shows that parents are often the biggest influence for passing on faith & values. Grandparents are also up there. Another of the 5 principles is that faith is caught not taught.
For me it was partly the faith of my grandmother. I can remember a number of occasions where she talked about faith with me or took me to church events, such as singing Christmas carols at nursing homes. Youth group leaders & youth group members also had a big influence on my faith. I remember driving to a camp with some of my fellow youth group members and they were talking about Jesus like he was their friend. I wanted what they had. My faith grew through personal, trusted relationships and it was caught more than taught.
D6 a family ministry movement that connects church and home talks about 1 hour out of 168 hours in a week. If children go to church every week they will still only be talking about faith issues at church for about 1 hour a week, compared to the 168 hours in a whole week. Obviously some of that time is spent sleeping and at school or other activities but parents generally have more time with their kids than the church does.
The Bible talks a lot about passing faith on to children. For example, Deuteronomy 6 talks about teaching your children & sharing the stories when you’re at home, when you’re away, when you’re resting & when you’re working. In other words when your’re going about you’re everyday life. This was a command for the whole community and not just for parents. Another example is from 2 Timothy 1:5 where Paul is talking about the faith of Timothy’s mother & grandmother.
This is just a quick overview of some of my thoughts & understandings on why I think that it is important to talk about and do faith practices at home.
If you would like to read more on this topic or learn about faith practices for home here are a few books that I recommend (or check out their websites):
- Spiritual Parenting: An Awakening for Today’s Families by Michelle Anthony
- Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids by Dr Kara E. Powell & Dr Chap Clark
- Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home by Traci Smith
- Faith at Home: A Handbook for Cautiously Christian Parents by Wendy Claire Barrie
What are your thoughts on the importance of passing faith on?