Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sticky Faith

Sunday morning, we were asked to sit in on a class with our church's Youth Minister, Cory by our Children's Minister, Shelley. They, along with other ministers in our church, wanted to try a new class for parents of preschoolers to hear from Cory and parents from teenagers to help prepare us for what will come. You can never start soon enough praying for your children! I soaked up everything Cory said and he emailed parents of youth in our church and asked for them to share with us what they wish they knew 10 years ago, when their children were preschoolers. Even though it seems Mallory's teenage years are far away, they aren't. I know I will blink and she will be a teenager! Here are some of the greatest pieces of advice the parents shared with us:

"Go to church with your kids - don't send them"

"Make it normal for your family to talk about God and Jesus everyday...to have conversations outside of Bible story time. Doesn't have to be long - just weave Christ into your moments. That way it won't be awkward to have faith conversations when they are teens."

"Pray with them every night and in God's word every day. Start now."

"You are your children's first impression of what God can be like. Don't hold a grudge - accept apologies and move on."

"Children are observant and will pick up on everything their parents do. Be a good example."

"Discipline should be covered in grace"

"Start discipline early. If you to start at age 12/13, they won't accept it."

"Be their biggest cheerleader. Don't complain about them (especially joking in front of them). They need to know you are proud of them."

"10 years ago I would have told myself, my kids will not left behind if they don't sell out to an activity. God has a much bigger plan and sports are tools God can use but otherwise really unimportant in light of eternity.:

"Family dinner and family nights are hugely important."

"Don't think your teen doesn't want to be with you. Being present, physically, will provide many opportunities for them to talk, even or just feel safe and important."

MOST IMPORTANTLY - there isn't a Magic Answer

"You WILL make mistakes. Acknowledge them - ask your child to forgive you if appropriate, learn from the mistake, forgive yourself and move on."

I learned so much in a short amount of time from Cory and these parents. No, we won't be perfect and we have no idea what the future holds but we can do our best to prayerful and prepared. We received a book called Sticky Faith. It talks about kids who've left home and went to college and their faith stuck. 

I'm looking forward to reading it and learning more. I know how crazy college life can be and I want Mallory's faith to stick. I want her own faith, not Brian and I's faith, her own faith to stick and stand out. You can never not pray enough for your child. I'll never forget a couple of weeks after Mallory was born, she had fallen asleep in my arms and I laid her down beside me. I cried tears of joy thankful that God has allowed me to be her mother. She is His child and He has allowed me to be her mother while she is on this Earth. What a great privilege we have as parents! 

I'm also thankful for a great support group of Christian mother friends that I have. Let's lift each other up! More encouraging, less judging and comparing. Let's pray for the children our kids grow up with and their parents. We are in this together! Yes, Mallory will grow up and make her own decisions but I want her to know that I've prayed for her and tried to do the best I can as a Child of God.

Speaking of this little girl...the countdown has begun to her 2nd birthday!

Let's start praying the terrible twos don't find us :)


Lyndsey said...

Love all these tips, thanks for sharing!! :)

Callie Nicole said...

Some great advice here! That book looks good too, I might have to find me a copy. :-)