Bringing Home Faith and Making It Stick
Years ago I was having a nostalgic moment. I opened the plastic container that held each intricately made project that my children had made throughout the years. Each project was carefully crafted, holding all the anticipation of what would become a treasure trove of knowledge to be reverted back to time and time again in each of my children’s minds. Their first writing book of colors, shapes, and letters would be something that would become a part of their everyday lives as the years steadily built on one another.
Interspersed throughout the container were mementos of many a Sunday School project, telling of stories long ago written about brave men and women that found courage to live their lives for the One True God. This got me to thinking about what impression these lessons had made on my children. I wondered if the stories they had heard in those classes, as teachers gave countless hours of love and patience, had stuck in their minds as they have grown into the young man and women that they have become? I took a closer look at the “take home” papers and noticed something I don’t know that I had ever took notice of before. There was a whole section labeled for parents to do with their children this week! Why had I never taken the time to notice that before? I thought about the missed opportunities that could have been a sticking point in my child’s life and I had missed it!
This led me on a mission to take advantage of opportunities of making our faith stick in my children’s lives. This journey started with me. I thought about all of the sermons I had sat under, sometimes taking notes, but rarely going back to reflect and internalize what God was trying to say to me. I realized that God wants to speak to me outside of Sunday morning service. He wants me to meditate on Him throughout my whole week, applying the things I have learned, putting them into practice in my home and workplace.
Next, I started asking questions of my children about what they learned while they were in their classes. I was surprised to learn of things they had questions about or concerns over. I prayed that God would provide opportunities for me to share what God was showing me and be able to put it in basic terms to share with them. God has always been faithful to give opportunities to do this. My children may sometimes say they are bored hearing the same thing many times, but repetition is one of the most effective methods of learning. One day it will sink in a little deeper and God will use it to teach great truths that will never leave my children.
Now, as a Children’s pastor, I make it my mission to provide opportunities for parents to drive the point home. Whether it be with questions to ask your children about their lesson or fun things to do that will reiterate the point, I am sure to provide that through “take home” papers or social media outlets. If your church doesn’t provide this, ask your child’s teachers if they could tell you what story you learned that day. There are many free resources online that will give great ideas and family projects, not to mention memory verses and stories, to help keep your faith alive during the week and your children’s minds on the Word of God as they live out their faith each day.
I am so thankful that I was given wise counsel when my children were young and didn't just live my faith on a Sunday morning, but made sure that the Word of God was written on the hearts of my children. Proverbs 22: 6 says, “Train up a child in the way that he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” I challenge you today to bring your faith home and make it stick!