How to Agree on Faith When Raising Kids
Do you and your spouse agree on faith? What you and your spouse think and believe about God will directly impact how you raise your kids and their outcome.
Unfortunately, many people don’t take the time to figure this out until it is too late. And then they spend most of their married life arguing about how to approach the “God” subject.
In this post, I am going to talk about the four ways we see God, how it affected you growing up, and how it will affect your kids. I will also give you some talking points to help you create a legacy of faith God would want for your own family.
Four Ways We See God
l believe there are at least four ways we see God: a bellhop, mean old man, non-existent, or as Lord.
The first way we see God is like a bellhop who gives us what we want.
You put your order in and presto! It is supposed to appear for you. If you don’t get it, you just didn’t have enough faith.
Perhaps you have been told that if you believe in God, all of your problems will go away, and you will get whatever you want. The old “name it and claim it” mentality.
In fact, you may not even believe in God, but this is your worldview in general. It is all about accumulating stuff. Hoping one day it will make you happy if you just get…
If you carry this belief system into your family, you could see your kids treating you the same way. Perhaps more as an ATM than a person. Over time, your family will be more concerned about superficial things than relationships.
One day you will wake up realizing you are surrounded by all your toys, but you have not invested in the people around you. Your relationships will be shallow and superficial.
Your family legacy will be more about things than people. And your kids will be sad you weren’t there for them when they needed you the most.
Related: Do You Have an Entitled Teen?
The second way to approach God is to see Him like a mean old man who doesn’t care about you.
Perhaps you think God is cruel.
You picture Him with a white beard and a lightning bolt in His hand (like Zeus) waiting to zap you. You think he’s angry all the time and a real killjoy.
This can translate into severe parenting. Your family is more about rules instead of a relationship. More law than grace. You rule with threats and fear.
Many times kids end up hating their parents when this parenting style rules the home. They can’t wait to leave when they turn 18. There is no love to draw them back.
Your family legacy will be one of broken relationships, unforgiveness, and maybe even an estrangement.
Related: Do You Yell at Your Children?
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Third, some of you don’t approach God at all because you think He is disengaged or non-existent.
You are angry about things that have happened to you or the ones you love. Perhaps you are convinced a loving God could never be a part of this world. You do not understand real love means allowing free will.
This translates into a family with no direction. It’s more about following your own set of rules. Eventually, your family becomes a moral vacuum. Your child has no moral compass so he does what feels good to him at the time.
Kids are too young to create a moral code that is even remotely sustainable long term. They do not have the wisdom of living to see where certain choices end up years down the road.
Your family legacy will be one of heartache. You will wonder what happened, and where you went wrong because your child is in one mess after another. Without values, your child has nothing to stop him from making his life and yours a living hell.
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And lastly, the only real way to approach God is as Savior and Lord.
Coming to this point is not easy.
Usually, we try everything else before we humble ourselves before Him and give up striving. It doesn’t feel natural to put our hands down
Yet, this is what he asks. He wants us to give our life over to Him so He can transform us into His image.
This translates into healthy parenting. It’s about lovingly instilling biblical morals and values in your children to create a home with God in the center. This philosophy creates a deep relationship between family members, forgiveness, and an overall feeling of security.
This doesn’t mean kids don’t rebel, sometimes they still do. But parents who stay the course and love their kids through it find many times the child comes back. It is the love of God that draws them back.
Once your child has a taste of the real thing, the counterfeit doesn’t satisfy.
Your family legacy will be one of good relationships built on something greater than you. You may not always agree on everything, but forgiveness flows freely through your family system. There is more grace than law.
Related: How to Get to Your Child’s Heart
How to Agree on Faith When Raising Kids
So how do you and your spouse come to some agreement with what you are going to do as parents?
- Start a conversation with your spouse about how you were raised and the long term effects it had on your family of origin. You may have a hybrid of several ones going on at the same time.
- Talk about what worked in your family of origin and what didn’t.
- Decide together what you want your family to look like. You can even create a mission statement to help you stay on track.
- Have regular check-ups (conversations) about the direction of your family. It is easy to get off course when you get busy. Warning: things slip in slowly over time.
- When you see you are off course–stop, evaluate, and re-direct your family. You may even need to adjust your mission statement over time to fit your growth in faith.
Passing Down a Legacy of Faith
My utmost desire is that you choose God as Lord of your life. It is important to pass down a legacy of faith in God to your kids. It is the only parenting style that is sustainable long term. When your family is centered on God, it is rooted in love and relationship. And love never fails.
Dr. Dobson gives some great wisdom on how to pass down your faith. You can see the loving relationship between him and Ryan. Ryan wasn’t perfect, but he circled back because of love.
Do you think God is more of a bellhop, a mean old man, doesn’t exist, or Lord? Has your philosophy spilled over into your family and parenting style? Is it working? Do you need to re-adjust?
What ways do you pass down your faith to your family?
Book on Family Estrangement from a Biblical Point of View
Are you experiencing family problems? Perhaps you and a loved one are no longer speaking. Don’t go another day without reading this book. It addresses family problems and estrangement from a biblical point of view. Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart is on Amazon or in your favorite digital store.
Get Creating Family Memories for FREE in exchange for your email. If you get this book, it will help you build a good relationship with your kids so that when the hard times come (teen years), you will be able to weather the storm.
Scroll down or look to the side to sign up. You can also get it at your favorite bookstore.
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Parenting and Family. This is a place for moms with preschool age kids or older to talk about their struggles with parenting, family life, education, or marriage. You will find biblically based advise from other moms who want to raise godly kids.
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