"You can't take your children further than you've gone yourself," says Josh McDowell. "When we're modeling true dependence on God with radical faith, and our kids can see the results, they will experience authentic Christianity. If it is real to us, it will be real to them."
I am continually being challenged by this great book called, "One Million Arrows" by Julie Ferwerda. She goes on to write, "Our kid's faith is constantly being challenged by an atheistic culture. As a result, they have tough questions that must be answered. They are and will be bombarded by scoffers and doubt-planters. Our kids can and must learn rational, intelligent, factual answers to their toughest faith and history questions, and we must help them by seeking out answers for and with them."
I took this to heart and sat down with my oldest son to watch the documentary "A Case for Christ". It was outstanding, but I feared it would be over his head. As I watched and discussed some of Jim Strobel's finds, I could see him agreeing with and cementing these facts into his head. We both loved the scientific and historical approach the documentary portrayed.
I think the key to this was building the relationship and taking the time to watch the movie with him. It also helped that I let him stay up late to watch it!
Joshua McDowell says this, "Relationships are foundational to beliefs, values, and behavior. We can reprioritize, making time to really connect with our kids, learning about their needs, desires, gifts and abilities."
Julie Ferwerda continues with this, "Lack of time is never a good excuse. If we say we are too busy to get to know and properly train our kids-the most precious responsibility we have been given on this earth-it's only a matter of misaligned priorities or self-deception. Every day has the same number of hours, and there are many parents showing us how to reprioritize and make every minute of parenting count for eternity.
When we prioritize well, we'll teach our kids to do the same. Did you know that the typical preteen devotes on average more than 40 hours per week ingesting media content? We're to be the watchdogs over the family priorities and schedules because our kids aren't mature enough to figure out on their own what's truly important and beneficial. and many of them aren't learning any better by watching us!"
If you are struggling with your relationship with your children I ask you to take a different approach. If they have asked Jesus into their heart and profess they are Christians, then view them as your "Brother or Sister in Christ". How does God instruct us to teach fellow Believers? Rebuke gently, teach, forgive, love, love and love some more is the answer to that question. To experience authentic Christianity, you have to remember that it's all about relationships.
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