Somewhere around 60 percent of the learning that affects people’s behavior is based upon watching someone they know and trust doing something significant. This makes particular sense these days, with the built-in hypocrisy detectors that children seem to be born with as standard equipment. 1
Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? James 2:17 (The Message)
From the beginning of a child’s life, they are observing the world. They will watch and learn from what they see, even the things we do subconsciously. One of my quirks that I have is I grunt when I get upset. I don’t know that I am grunting, I do it without any thought. My oldest son does it now. When he gets in trouble he will grunt to express his anger. That isn’t something from my DNA it’s something he picked up from observing me during stressful times.
If children can pick up small moments in our life and adapt them to their life, isn’t it important that faith becomes something we want them to take away from us. For example, I had a young boy that came to my church a long time ago. He didn’t come by himself, he came with this two brothers. Although they came to church, his parents did not attend. Only time they came was for special programs like VBS closing or Christmas Special. Outside of those few programs, they would never step into the church. Why? Because his father told him one day while they were waiting for the church van to pick them up, “I already did my time.” Basically, he told his child that going to church is similar to being sentenced to prison?! You have to put your time in and when it’s done you hopefully never go back. Do you think that little boy has a good chance of remaining faithful to the church or even to God? Now I don’t want to say that this child was hopeless, but his chances were low in remaining in the church.
Do you want your children to be followers of Jesus Christ?
Hopefully you want to see your children become faithful followers of Christ, but that also means you as well need to be one. If God or the church isn’t a priority in your life right now, how can you expect your children to make it a priority. If they see you more excited about going to a sporting event or a craft show, your children will pick up that excitement as what is important in life.
You can start by making God and His church a priority in your life today. Tell your children about the mistakes you made in the past when you made other activities more important, and move together toward God.
You are the best chance for your children to becoming Christians. Take that role seriously and move onward in your pilgrimage toward the new earth.
Barna, George (2010-09-01). Revolutionary Parenting: Raising Your Kids to Become Spiritual Champions (Kindle Locations 1335-1337). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition. ↩