By Shirley Carlson, La Crescenta Presbyterian Church, California
Relationships help define character, especially during the teen years. Your job is to help your child foster good relationships between Christ, you, and his friends.
What defines a good relationship? Trust is extremely important as well as a relationship that mutually seeks the best for both parties. Get to know your teen's friends and ask your child what he seeks from this relationship.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - "Impress (God's commandments) on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road ..."
Are you doing this? Do you need help?
Solid research shows the importance of parents as the primary nurturer of faith in their children; and when they partner with their church, the results are even greater. Some alarming research findings are found in some of the articles below. One states only 34% of American families eat a meal together daily and only 8 minutes a day is the average time a father spends with his children. Even more alarming is that only 12% of families pray together.
The first link below is from Sticky Faith, Fuller Youth Institute's focus on keeping children in the faith. They point out that too often parents do their prayer time, Bible study, journaling, or helping others at times when their children are not present. Their research points out the extreme importance of letting our children see us being faithful.
Help from your church can be beneficial in preparing you to be the primary nurturer of faith for your children.
Seek help from your pastor, Christian Education Director, or Youth Leader.
Become involved in some form of activity within the church that promotes parent and child working together, for instance do a mission project together.
Churches need to equip parents to be the primary nurturer of faith. If your church is not equipping parents, let them know. Form a parent group to determine ways you can nurture faith development at home or form a study group using the books listed below.
Understanding that the home is the primary place where faith is nurtured and demonstrated, build a strong partnership with your church helping each other succeed in raising faithful children and youth who will continue as faithful adults.
These resources are helpful for growing faithful children.
Parenting Beyond Your Capacity -by Reggie Joiner
The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family -By Dr. Kara E. Powell