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Sticky Faith – Building Bridges
As we venture into our seventh entry of Sticky Faith, the authors’ primary focus of the seventh chapter addresses graduating teenagers that move onto college. While many of the ideas presented in this chapter cover just this period in time, I feel using these same concepts help with many transitional periods in your children’s lives.

Regardless of a person’s inner makeup, change can be a difficult thing to process. Overcoming the unknown, dealing with new people and especially new surroundings can cause even the most outgoing extrovert to think twice. Children that embark on their first college days encounter all of these traumas and much more.

To lessen the blow of going to college, there are bridges that parents can help prepare and build for their children. In the instances where children are attending a college far enough away from home that going to your home church isn’t a possibility, we as parents can help our children by researching local churches. If possible, attend a few Sunday services to see if the teenager can find a home there.

Beyond finding a church, researching what other church missions are available such as college groups, young adult small groups, etc. can be the lifeline the teenager needs in their time of need.

After doing as much as possible to help find a church, there’s further preparation needed by our children. Leading up to college, we as parents should take the time to get our children ready for college. Areas like time management, budgeting their money and how to keep in touch with old friends and making new ones, are a few areas that our children need to be prepared to handle.

Parents can setup a two-week plan (it can be longer and recurring if needed) that maps out their class and study schedule, time when they can call us and when they can call friends. The plan should be flexible and expected to change. Keeping the bridge open back to home, while your child finishes their new bridge into adulthood, can lay a foundation that enables them to weather the new storms in their life. Make sure that we allow our children do the things they can do, and we help with the things they struggle with.

Most importantly, parents can use this time to lessen the blow becoming empty nesters. We need to start letting go and trusting in Christ to guide them in their decisions and actions while being as supportive as our children need us to be. Allowing their faith to become sticky, lasting and strong.

Sticky Faith