Why is it that children learn everything bad all by themselves? Lying, laziness, blaming, evading responsibility, cheating, stealing, and disobedience just sprout like weeds. That’s what makes parenting so exhausting—all the good qualities we desire to see in our kids as they become adults must be taught, encouraged, modeled, and retaught.
The most important of all characteristics we need to pass on to our children is our faith. Just like all the other good attributes, faith in Christ is not present in a human being at birth. It must be given to the child by the power of Word and sacrament.
It must also be encouraged, tended, and strengthened just like every other virtue. Parents have the awesome privilege and responsibility of making sure their children know that they are created, redeemed, and cared for by a loving God who literally moved heaven and earth to make it possible for them to enjoy eternity with him: “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done” (Psalm 78:4). You can’t believe for them. What you can do is share the Word in your home devotions, prayers, and story time and let the Holy Spirit loose in their hearts.
Did you have a Christian upbringing as a child? Today would be a good day to thank the Lord for the gift of Christian parents, and also to resolve to keep teaching your children and grandchildren the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.