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Sticky Faith – Parents Influence on their Kids
I’ve always loved the old saying, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Every parent knows this and many, if not all, have expressed this to their children. In continuing with our discussion of Sticky Faith, one of Chapter 1’s primary objectives expresses the influence parents have over their children.

If you don’t know this already, here’s the plain truth: Parents wield more control over their children’s future than any other earthly factors. More than their teachers, friends, family, games, TV and other external stimuli. It’s an important fact to realize, that children will be positively or negatively affected by their parents actions (first and foremost) and words (secondly) than anything else.

I remember an excellent quote from a sermon this year. “You may be the only Bible some people will ever read.” What a telling statement. Actions have always spoken louder than words. As parents, it’s important to understand how we treat the other spouse, how we treat our children and how we treat everyone else, directly affects our children’s social behaviors. While there are exceptions to every rule, parents need to be aware of their decisions and their impact on their children.

Think about this scenario: When a thunderstorm rolls in and your children become afraid from the bright lightning and rolling thunder, how do you respond? 1. By hugging and protecting your kids. 2. By giving them their favorite stuffed animal. 3. Teaching them and praying with them, so they can put their trust in God that things will be ok.

Any parent would say that all of the things I mentioned above would work. I would challenge you to think of the benefits and consequences of each action. 1 & 2 places a dependency on something that can’t ever be there for them 100% of the time. It may endear them to you, which is a very good thing; it also instills a reliance that at some point will falter. I’m not saying don’t do 1 & 2. I’m saying don’t ‘only’ do 1 & 2.

Teaching your children to place their trust in Christ, the same One who never fails His brothers and sisters, is the best course of action. The Lord’s love for each child is unique and exactly what they need. A deep love that fills any emptiness our children may develop and instills a sense of security that no tribulation can shake.

As parents, if we continue to put our trust in God and express that dependency on Christ in front of our children. If we reinforce that dependency on them, encouraging, showing them how they too should lean on Christ. Our children will become more confident, less likely to be swayed by external influences and more importantly become closer to God. They need to build that personal relationship, one on one, with Christ.

We can’t ‘tell’ them how to do it. We have to ‘show’ them how to do it.

Start off by showing them how to pray every morning and night. Focus on expressing their need to have a good day and to pray that everyone else have a good day. Expand on that prayer to include God in the decision making process. Reach out further when tests, quizzes or the big tryout comes up. Teach them to depend on God for help in each and every action they take.

Show them how to express their love to their siblings and respect one another. Show them how Christ loves them, by explaining how He’s blessed them. Each blessing will be different. They don’t realize that running water or how air conditioning can be a luxury. How supermarkets filled with ripe and fresh food weren’t a reality a few years back and how many people still suffer from illness, disease, famine and trauma out of their control.

Children don’t realize a simple thing like an iPad may only be a dream toy that never materializes for the vast majority of the kids in the world. How having more than one pair of shoes and clothes is not the norm. These are all blessings from Christ and be thankful for them. Knowing that at any time those things may pass too.

Show them through actions, that Christ’s love will never pass and fail them no matter how difficult the circumstance may be. When our kids trust and love God, they will be building a foundation upon a rock that will last them a lifetime. A house that no storm can wash away.

Sticky Faith