Tap into the great resource of your elders. Make use of opportunities you have to benefit from the wisdom of your parents, other extended family members, and elderly friends. Realize that these veterans of life have much to offer you and your family. Invite them to participate in your life as actively as possible. Seek their guidance when you’re facing challenging situations. Ask them to pray for your family regularly, and keep them updated with specific prayer requests and news of how God is answering their prayers. Encourage each of your kids to find a mentor to support them in their spiritual journey.

Relate to church in a healthy way. Don’t just drop your kids off at church and show up to pick them up later. Attend and participate yourself. Don’t expect church staff or volunteers to instill faith in your kids. Instead, view the church as a partner that will equip you to do that job yourself. Don’t just visit the church sporadically or on special occasions like Christmas and Easter. Immerse yourself in it. Become active in church ministries, build relationships with people in the congregation, and use your gifts to serve others in the church. Discover and use your spiritual gifts and help each of your family members do the same. Realize that the more you devote yourself to living out your faith, the more God will bless you – and your family.

Adapted from Faith Begins at Home copyright 2005 by Mark Holmen. Published by Regal Books, from Gospel Light, Ventura, Ca., 1-800-4-GOSPEL, www.regalbooks.com.

Mark Holmen has worked with families for more than 15 years, serving as a youth and family pastor in three congregations. He has been a national consultant, speaker, trainer, and author for the Youth and Family Institute, and currently serves as the senior pastor of Ventura Missionary Church in Ventura, Ca. In addition to serving his own congregation, Mark helps other congregations equip the home to be the primary place where faith is nurtured.