Welcome to the first official discussion for the Faith in the Home Forum! I am excited you could join in the discussion today about creating a “Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids” (affiliate link) through intergenerational mentorship, navigating doubts, and modeling genuine faith.
Now, I did share some resources/homework for those who were interested, but it is not required to join in the discussion. I would love to hear your input as a parent, young adult, or from the perspective of whatever season of life you currently reside in.
In Kara Powell’s research she found that intentional intergenerational relationships, allowing room for doubts, and living an authentic faith are huge in forming a faith that will stick.
Now, may it be noted, that there is no magic formula for ensuring faith in your children. Nonetheless, there are many things we as parents can cultivate and model that can give our children the tools to build an authentic faith.
So, here are this week’s questions and my responses. Please share your responses as well in the comments! I will be sharing you input in a post later this week.
What are you doing to encourage intentional intergenerational relationships within your child’s life? Do they have connections to Christian adults other than you and your spouse?
Well, Rebekah is quite young at this point, but I am excited that there are so many women of all ages, ranging from teenagers to other young moms to older women, who have an interest in and relationship with Rebekah that I hope will continue as she grows older. Of course, everyone loves a cute baby. I know as she grows older, I will have to encourage her to think of at least five adults that she would like to have as intentional mentors. My job is to make sure there are already other appropriate adults within her world (besides Mitch and I) that she would feel comfortable going to about struggles or questions.
What role did intergenerational relationships (if any) play in your faith formation?
Mitch and I sought out intentional mentors in college before we got married, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. We basically asked older couples that we looked up to if they would have dinner with us and share some wisdom. Not only did they help strengthen our marriage and encourage us, they spoke truth into our faith walk. As college students, we were walking through pivotal years of making our faith our own, and their example and intentional mentorship strengthened our faith and allowed room for our questions. I also had several adults at church and church camp who were mentors to me as I grew up in my teen years. As a young mom, I still seek mentors and am happy to say I have found a few. 🙂
Has your child ever expressed doubts about his or her faith? How did you respond? Were they able to work through them, or are they ongoing doubts?
Once again, Rebekah is currently too young for me to answer this as a parent. But we have encountered this with teenagers. I think it is important to not freak out and to realize that we all struggle with doubts from time to time. We do not have to have all the answers, but we can pray about it, study the Bible together, and follow up with them. I think the worst thing we can do is give them a phony response that brushes off their doubts with a trite answer–though this can be tempting to save face if we don’t have an answer. Ask what they think, and let them know that it is okay to have questions.
Do you remember struggling with doubts–or do you still? (There is no shame in it, I think most people do.)
This hasn’t been a major struggle for me. But they do crop up on occasion. Less of life-shaking doubts, and more “wonderings”. I’ve always taken comfort in knowing that God is bigger than I can ever understand–and that is okay. If I understood everything about Him, then I could have created Him and He wouldn’t be God.
How do you strive to daily live out a vibrant and authentic faith?
As we are told in Romans 12, this requires is a daily renewal and commitment to refresh my mind. And let me be frank and say that I struggle with this! Taking a few minutes every morning to “reset and renew” is huge. But it doesn’t always happen. I strive to internalize God’s word, pray the Lord’s Prayer with open hands and awareness, pray for wisdom, pray for those in my life, read books that inspire me and make me think, journal from time to time–and most importantly, I try to live my faith through how I treat others, how I respond, and how I love. Some days are better than others. I also try to live a life of thankfulness, because when God has given us such great grace–how can we not help but be thankful?! Keeping a thankfulness journal of the small, simple, unexpected gifts has been powerful for me.
Please join in the discussion! Also, don’t miss the giveaway I am running for a copy of Sticky Faith. I will ship a copy straight to the winner when the giveaway closes in a week!
Next Week’s Topic:
Meg Meeker’s interviews about motherhood: “Under the Influence: Peer Pressure”, “Eliminating Competition”, and “Enjoying the Simple Life.”
You don’t have to answer all of the questions. Feel free to pick and choose or focus in on one. Here are the questions to consider (even if you don’t listen to the podcasts):
- Meg Meeker speaks about the peer pressure in motherhood to not only keep up as a mother, but to make sure our kids are keeping up as well. Is this something you have experienced or struggled with?
- How do you decide how many activities to let your children be involved in?
- What is the condition of your soul? What are you doing to feed it?
- Do you find that you are a better wife and mother when you get positive friend time outside of the house?
- Do you struggle with feeling like your value and validation as a mother comes from your children’s performance or successes?
- Are you afraid that your children will be deprived and fall behind their peers if you pull them from extracurricular activities?
- As a mom, do you feel the demands of perfectionism?
- How do you handle boredom with your children?
- What season of life are you (as a woman) in?
- Do you struggle with the “should-dos” thoughts? How do you combat those thoughts?
Please share this conversation across social media so that we can encourage as many families as possible to build faith in the home. If you are a blogger, I would love it if you shared my button!