July 11, 2018
Therefore I urge you to imitate me... For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 1 Cor 4:16, 20
Faith is passed on by the power of imitation, not intimidation.
Parents – we have been deceived! We have been convinced that either we must command faith out of our kids, or not “push our faith” on our kids. Depending on our upbringing, we tend to think faith is passed down by intimidation or by abdication.
But that’s not what God instructed us to do. Deuteronomy 6 tells parents to pass along their faith by IMITATION! When we imitate people of great faith, it has power to transform our children. When we walk, talk, live it out, they learn what faith looks like.
One of the greatest lies of our current generation is to believe that faith is up to our kids. We’ve been deceived by past pain or overbearing parents to believe that not pushing our religion on our kids is the best way. So a generation of children are growing up WITHOUT knowing God and without learning about Him. They lose out in experiencing the power of God, until later in life (hopefully).
The previous generation had the opposite approach, thinking that rules and commands were enough to pass along faith to their children. Rules are often necessary, but do nothing more than forge a religious mindset instead of helping grow a relationship with God. So that generation grew up knowing about God, but not knowing God personally.
Paul gave a simple method to the Corinthian church on how to pass along faith – imitate a faithful person! And THAT’S the BEST WAY! Look for a faithful person in marriage, and imitate what they do to keep your marriage strong. Imitate a leader to develop your leadership skills. Imitate a strong parent to learn more about being a better parent. And imitate a person of faith to grow your faith. THEN… as we imitate faithful people, our kids learn to imitate us.
The best way to grow the faith of your kids is to bring them along as you follow God. They watch your faithfulness and learn from your faith. Leverage the power of imitation … it’s much more effective than intimidation.