So, I have had the amazing opportunity to spend some extra time with my kids over the Easter break. This time highlighted two things for me. Firstly, what an amazing blessing my kids are to me. Also, what amazing gifts kids, or young people, are to us in general.
This train of thought continued and got me asking some questions about my parenting; what my kids might really need most from me in the season of life that they are in. This continued in a more general direction asking questions like, “what will they need from me in the near future?” and “what do kids, especially school aged kids, need most in general?”.
So after I have done hours of researching credible literature, talks and interviews. This the one consensus that seems to come across is that what is needed most is:
1. “Beliefs” engagement and growth, and,
2. Forming of “meaningful relationships”.
This emphasised for me the importance of parents living their faith openly and talking about it honestly and frequently. It is so vital for parents to make sure there are other trusted and supportive adults in their family’s (and therefore kids’), lives.
So, as a parent, we model and speak about our beliefs, the faith it stems from, and how it influences our behaviour and speech. And, as a parent, we invite other trusted adults into our space to also model those beliefs and talk about the outworking of their faith in their contexts.
This is why it is vital for parents to work on their own faith and meaningful connections, so that they can share this part of their lives appropriately not just with their own kids, but also kids that are a part of their sphere of influence (nephews, nieces, god-children, close family friends’ lives, church family…for example). Furthermore, this is why it is important for us, as church family, to model our faith appropriately and form appropriate meaningful connections for and with the younger generations God has entrusted us with.
How do we do this collectively? Well, one way in which we do this is by making time and space for young ones, or the youth, to enable them to form meaningful peer and mentoring relationships. We need to provide opportunities for them to learn and grow their faith. This is the responsibility of every parent, grandparent, godparent, great-grandparent, trusted family friend, and more mature members of our community/church family.
So in which way can you be equipped to and help fulfil this responsibility we all have and find joy in seeing your own faith grow and also young ones flourish?
· By being an active community member
· By being a part of a small group (engage group)
· By being a part of youth group
I would encourage all of you to be a part of church life in this way and am looking forward to hearing from you all regarding this.
In His service,