Raising faith as a dad

I am a father to two children, have a full time job and am part of the leadership team at church alongside my wife. But even as a church leader, the thought of building faith at home can be such an overwhelming thought.

I can often think that someone else will do a better job than me – another church leader or kid’s worker. I look at how patient my wife is with our children and think, ‘she’s so much better at teaching our children about the things of God.’

Yet in the last few years I have realised that as a dad I have an important role to play. It won’t look the same as another person and that is more than okay, in fact it is God’s design.

I remember one of the first times I thought “I am going to be intentional about building faith!”  I had this perfect ideal in my mind based on those Instagram pictures I have so often seen.

We would all be sat around the table, hands held and worship music playing, everyone praying lovely prayers and sharing what they are thankful for. Yet the reality for our family was so different, it looked nothing like this – it was chaotic and messy to say the least! For some families this really works, but for others it couldn’t be more different.

I’ve discovered that it’s important that we don’t give up, but instead keep searching for those little moments in the chaos and normality of everyday life. I have learnt to not lose heart if it doesn’t look like I had planned, or like someone else’s family.

I have found that making the most of the everyday moments, rather than trying to create structured ‘faith time’ works really well for us and makes a big difference. Maybe instead of catching up on emails or social media whilst my kids watch Peppa Pig, I can look to watch with them and talk about God’s kindness when Peppa is kind to her friends.

My daughter always wants me to read her stories before bed, not because of my reading skills, but because we have fun reading! It doesn’t matter if we are reading The Tiger Who Came To Tea or a Bible story, we act out the stories and laugh a lot. Intentionally making sure I am ready to give her my undivided attention during bedtime is so important, because when those moments appear I can grasp them and show her unconditional love.

I am learning that it’s less about what I know or don’t know, and more about making time to spend together. I love when we spend time together as a family and find ways to talk about God. It’s become part of everyday life, where I look for the small moments to give my children a glimpse of God’s love, to share who he is and how he is the greatest adventure in life.

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