Tip One: Help Your Kids Notice When They Feel Closest to God
Because of our research on faithing, periodically I (Kara) ask my kids this question: When do you feel closest to God? I’m interested in what they say and even more eager for them to learn about their own faithing.
Our 18 year-old normally answers: “During worship.” He has felt close to God through worship music since fourth grade. He now plays guitar and regularly leads worship at our high school ministry. Thursday night worship practices are a priority in his schedule.
Our 16 year-old tells me she feels closest to God when she’s at church. With her friends. She’s always been social, and she comes alive when she’s with people who get her.
For our 13 year-old, our most introverted child, it’s in our backyard. By herself. She loves nature and experiencing God’s creation. As much as she loves her friends, she cherishes time on her own outside to read, swing on a swing, ride her scooter, or just lie in the grass and look at the sky.
God has wired each of our kids differently, each with a unique way of faithing that can be encouraging to them and inspiring to us as parents. We recommend that you help your family appreciate your child’s unique ways of faithing:
• Ask your kids when they feel closest to God. If we really thought about it, we could probably guess our kids’ answers based on what we observe about them. But even having the conversation provides one more way to faith as a family.
• Carve out time in your family schedule so your kid gets their time with God. I (Kara) have a confession to make. Sometimes I don’t want our oldest to go to Thursday night worship practice because I treasure time with him at home. I am learning that encouraging his faithing requires sacrificing my preferences for what he values.
• Expose your kids to other ways to connect with God. While Scripture reading and prayer are foundational to faithing, we want our kids to know that they can be creative in their faithing. Like any relationship, we grow when we try new things together, and we can offer this vision to our kids. A talkative kid might find a contemplative prayer group transformative. A talented performer might discover a new kind of engagement with God through manual labor. We may need to be the catalysts who invite them to try something new.
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