Faith by Choice

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary faith is belief and trust in and loyalty to God.  However, there is more to faith than that.  When we combine the intellectual part of faith i.e. ‘I believe this and trust in you to guide me’, with doing what He calls us to do, we are acting faithfully.  When we chose to live out our faith in a visible way, our relationship with God becomes stronger and our example becomes somewhat clear.  I have always believed that one of the best ways to lead/teach our children is by our example.    We expected our children to do as they were told because “we said so,” yet when we were called to be obedient to God we sometimes balked or went off in another direction.  So how then, can we raise faithful, obedient children with joyful hearts?  This is something I have pondered as my children were growing up.  We did what we thought best, we loved them, tried to model appropriately, surrounded them with a community of faithful believers and threw ourselves into the life of the church.  Did it work?  Did we create the right environments for the Holy Spirit to work in them? Only Jesus knows.

So how does one approach this question of raising faithful, obedient children?  While the answer is anything but simple, it is doable and with faith, perseverance, faith, prayer, faith and a desire to do what God leads us to do, we can do exactly that.  Most importantly, like anything else it’s because we are not doing it alone, in reality we are not “doing it” at all.  We are merely “to cultivate environments for Him to do this work.”   We have a secret weapon so to speak… we have the help and teaching of the Holy Spirit.   With His help, we can begin to nurture and grow these environments for the Kingdom.  Michelle Anthony has suggested and explained the 10 environments that we should work on.  She calls them: Storytelling, Identity, Faith Community, Service, Out of the Comfort Zone, Responsibility, Course Correction, Love and Respect, Knowing, and Modeling.   Keep in mind we don’t want our children to just “look” spiritual, we want to open our home and children’s minds so that Christ can do His work in them.  Our job is to put our children where God is at work.  In order to do this we must pray for God’s direction and then rely on Him for answers.   Over the next several weeks we will look at each environment in more detail.   May you have many “Aha!” moments.

Pam Prentice

*If you are reading along we are on  Chapter 2: “What’s The Rock”

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