Tonight, as my kids were watching a VeggieTales movie, I was in another room thinking and planning my family's future. Because we're in the middle of transition and are planning to move within the next several months, I've been working through a list of things to think about and strategize on. It's a move of faith, choosing to step out of our comfort zones, and I want my kids to be part of it. In my mind I'm convinced that God is glad I'm thinking about questions like how to make sure my children participate in the missional activities of my family. Jesus calls us to love God with everything, including our minds, and so tonight, as my kids were watching TV, I was doing the kind of thinking that demonstrates love and faith.
Stopped in My Tracks
Then a thought hit me that stopped me in my tracks. Follow me, if you will. It takes three steps to get there.
My wife and I are both pretty smart. (I don't know where you land on IQ tests, if they're culturally-biased, useful or any of that. So let's just assume that an IQ test is just one way to think about smartness.) With advanced degrees, and strong IQs, each of us is near the top. Suffice to say that some tests put us in the top 1%.
It turns out that my wife and I also are rich. Easily in the top 1% – globally. (Want to know where you stand?).
Ok, neither of these thoughts were the ones that stopped me in my tracks. But building on those last two thoughts, here's step two:
When my kids want to know what they or we should do, they ask me, and I use my intellect to answer them.
When my kids want something for themselves or our family, they ask me, and I use my wealth to provide it.
Are you seeing where I'm going? Can you guess what thought stopped me cold? Here it is:
My children rarely see God. When they want advice and/or provision, they get it from me.
I'm it. They have no need for more.
It's a scary thought, isn't it. Sure, my kids will watch VeggieTales now and then. They'll go to church for something like 40 hours a year. But the 3000 hours a year that they interact with me is suggesting to them a very different thing than I want for them. Our lives are at odds with our faith. My kids have faith in their parents (which is a good thing) but they don't see much need for faith in a living God because there are few places where they rely on only Him for what's needed.
Are our kids learning the practice of ‘faithing'?
In the book of Hebrews the writer says, “Without faith it's impossible to please God…” and tonight I had to ask myself, where in our daily lives are we faithing? See, I don't think faith is a noun; it's not a volume of something (like gas in a gas tank) that can be measured like that. I think faith is a verb (as in faithing), and it's the act of counting and trusting and relying completely on God because a) He's enough, and b) there's no plan B.
It's not a bad thing to be smart. It's not a bad thing to have some resources. But if there's not regular places where our kids see us putting it all on the line and waiting and hoping that God will come thru, then it's hard to pass on the practice of faithing to them.
What are you doing to help pass on faith to your children?