Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
When I pray for my kids, I usually regress into childlike prayers. God, help my kids to have easy lives, free from pain and struggles. It may not be quite that obvious, but my prayers are often more than a little naïve. Everyone struggles, and everyone goes through trials. My kids are not the exception. What I should pray, and what I have learned to make myself pray is, When my kids struggle, and when they go through trials, may they have the faith to turn to you, God.
My parents taught me faith. Growing up, I learned of their faith, going to church, reading the Bible, and just talking about it at home. Faith was a very real part of our family. This did not prevent me from making my own mistakes as an adult and this did not shield me from trials, struggles, or pain. What this did for me, was to give me the foundation to stand on when I encountered those trials.
This is the message of today’s passage, which insists that it is our job to teach our children our faith so that they will have a solid foundation when they encounter the trials of life. The is not a guarantee that every child who attends church will follow God as an adult. It is a general principle, that if we want our children to know and follow God when they grow up, we must show them faith when they are young.
The problem for many of us, is that our faith is not what it should be, and so, we pass along an anemic, apathetic version of faith that dissipates with time. If we want our kids to know God, then we must live that out, showing them what it truly means to love, pursue and obey God.
When I pray, God, may my kids love and follow you all their days, I must work at loving and following God myself. If I want my kids to have faith, I must teach by example.
Thanks Mom and Dad!