From the Desk of Stella Davis
My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,
Peace of the Lord be with you all!!
As Christians, one of our greatest concerns is the family. Over the last century, the order and stability of the home has been drastically altered. The challenges most of us encountered as children have changed in nature and increased in intensity. How are we to counteract all that society throws at our children to lure them away from the family and the church? What should we do in order to pass our faith on to the next generation?
The good news is that with all of the competing influences our children deal with, parents have the most powerful, governing effect in their lives. When they become adults and move out on their own, they carry with them the imprint of how they were trained, what they were taught, and what they observed in the home. It's like a recording that begins in their minds as babies and keeps running throughout childhood and adolescence. This is both encouraging and sobering.
Children are impacted more by what we communicate to them with our attitudes and actions than they are by our words.
They notice if who we are contradicts who we profess to be. And this discrepancy between our words and actions sets up a confusing and conflicting thought pattern that can determine whether they will follow in our steps or reject what we've tried to pass on to them.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to encourage Timothy, his spiritual son in the faith, he said, "Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings" (2 Tim. 3: 10-11). The key word in this passage is followed. Timothy followed in Paul's footsteps because he saw authenticity in his life. He listened to his teaching, but more importantly, Timothy witnessed Paul's Christ-like attitudes, his godly response to suffering, and his unfailing commitment to the Lord.
To leave this kind of example for our children, we must become people of consistency. The Christian life is not something we put on in public and take off at home. God intends that we grow continually in spiritual maturity and integrity (Pet. 2: 1-2). If we want our children to love and obey the Lord, we should be filling our own minds and hearts with the Scriptures. As our children see our love for God demonstrated by our obedience to His commands, they are more likely to adopt the same attitude and practice.
However, if we profess to believe God's word but ignore it in our homes, our children will be confused. Ephesians 5 asks us, if we don’t attend Mass or go to confession, etc, etc. what are we teaching? We must take responsibility.... If we want our children to follow us as Timothy followed Paul, we must also be honest and transparent. When we make mistakes, we ought to humbly admit that we were wrong, and if necessary, apologize to our children. Sometimes we may fear that they will see this as a sign of weakness, but in reality, their respect for us increases when we are honest about our failures. Furthermore, they'll learn the value of a humble and contrite spirit,which is so important to the Lord (Isa. 66:2). Transparency also includes giving our children the freedom to express their thoughts and feelings when they see any inconsistency in us. Children need the stability that comes from a home founded on biblical truth that is exemplified in word, attitude, and action.
Although we will never be perfect parents, we have a perfect heavenly Father who teaches, guides, and trains us along the way!!!!
I do hope you are still following the Scriptures I give you?!
In Christ’s Love,