It can be daunting in our current culture to raise children with a strong faith. Because of the trappings of our society – materialism, self-absorption, greed, excelling in all manner of sports, academics, music, and the like, many families feel torn between finding time for their children’s activities and finding time to share their faith. We are also up against some pretty bleak odds that our children will practice their faith beyond their high school years.
Ultimately, parents and guardians are responsible for teaching their children about God and our faith. At our parish, we offer tools to help parents such as Faith Formation classes and youth activities. It has been said that if a child is surrounded by at least five positive adult role models of faith, that child will be more successful in every aspect of life.
So, what can we do to be more equipped to pass on our faith besides sending our child to Faith Formation classes at church or a Catholic school?
First and foremost we must engage in practicing our faith. Going to Mass every weekend is a good place to start.
Whether at home, work, volunteering at our child’s school, socializing with friends – the way in which we treat others (and ourselves for that matter) directly influences our children. There are many ways to share our faith in the everyday routine of life (as crazy as it might be at times). How we deal with conflict, hurt, sorrow, and the joyful times in life – this is what our children will take with them into their own lives.
Ask your child about his/her day and bring God into the picture. Ask them how they lived out the two great commandments – how did they love God with their whole being that day and how did they show love to their neighbor? And be prepared to answer the same questions about your day!
Striving to truly love – erasing judgment, accepting others and ourselves despite their/our faults, openness to the goodness of others whether it’s on the surface or hidden – is what our children will learn from us. It is how we act (and react) that our children will take with them into their own lives. If we consistently consider the two great commandments in every dealing we have with others, we will be well on our way to practicing our faith and modeling it to our children. Let them see and experience love and they will reflect the same.
For more information about our Faith Formation classes, or if you would like to help pass on our faith to the next generation by being a Faith Formation teacher/catechist, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (920) 499-1546.