Be Refreshed – Day 5
by Cathy Madavan
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts (vs3-4).
Children absorb so much at home. Our girls have learned that Mexican food is undoubtedly the best food. They know that country walks are more welcome than gym membership. They’ve witnessed our political opinions and our sports preferences. The truth is, we naturally pass on to the next generation our values, preferences and beliefs – intentionally or unintentionally. Every person has grown up in a context, and it always shapes part of us, for better and for worse!
So why do we feel so often that the influence we have on our children is limited? That they will happily listen to their teachers in school or at church, but not to us at home?
Where are we positioned?
The voices that influence our children are many and varied – at school, online and in their wider relationships. We know that some of what they pick up will be great, and some of it less so. But let’s never underestimate our own significance. No matter how it feels, what we say and do is impacting our children. As parents, we are able to nurture the next generation spiritually as well as emotionally and physically, giving them food for thought as well as packing their lunch boxes!
Of course, small children will initially believe everything we say, will then question it and finally they will make their own decisions. That’s perfectly normal. We are, however, uniquely positioned and called to pass on to our children the amazing truth of God’s love and his passion for them – that he created them and has good plans for them.
What can we say?
Most of us don’t have a theology degree. We can’t share with our children what we don’t know, but the challenge is to authentically share what we do know about God’s goodness in our lives. Importantly, we can even acknowledge his faithfulness in the disappointments, mistakes and tough times and share those experiences too. We can choose to prioritise faith conversations, prayer and church activities that will help them to grow spiritually.
How often do we share stories about what God has done in our lives? Start small, giving thanks for today, and then share one story of God’s goodness.
Catch up on the rest of Be Refreshed on the blog.
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