by Dr. Charles Stanley
Friday December 16, 2005
How to Pass Down Our Faith
We cannot believe for our children or doubting friends, though at times we may wish we could. What we can do, though, is model righteous living and faith principles.
Share basic principles — Explain and demonstrate spiritual lessons to ingrain them in a child’s concept of God. Tithing and good stewardship, for instance, teach that everything we have belongs to God. Our words and actions should also convey the following truths: The Lord provides for our needs (Philippians 4:19); He gives direction for our life (Proverbs 3:5-6); and His Holy Spirit enables us to do all that we are called to accomplish.
I learned these four principles from my grandfather, who related a number of incidents that demonstrated how the Lord works. I remember thinking that if God could care for and bless my grandfather, He could probably take care of me too. Indeed, He does!
Live righteously — The lifestyle we choose is another way we pass along our faith. We can hand down fear, doubt, and frustration or trust, security, and patience by the way we live. Every day, decisions we make in front of family and neighbors express either fear or faith. No matter what we tell our children, unless they notice us living out what we say, they won’t explore faith for themselves. Notice the result of such modeling in 1 and 2 Kings: there is a tendency for men to walk in the ways of their fathers, whether for evil or good.
A consistent lifestyle of adhering to godly principles is the greatest inheritance we can give anyone watching our life.