How do we have the greatest impact in our talk with our kids? This week's chapter gave some great principles in addition to some very concrete examples of doing this. I don't know about you, but sometimes the quotes of young people are as moving as the info they share.
Powell & Clark's research resulted in some very interesting observations:
- "While we know actions speak louder than words, words still really matter" (p. 70). In a culture that overly prizes actions, we can't forget that someone does need to communicate the message with words. As Romans 10:14 reminds: "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?"
- "Who you are as a parent is far more important than what you say" (p. 70). You probably had the words of James in James 2 ringing about how a faith that is not lived should be a major concern for a person. If our faith is not in Christ, our conversations and talk won't bring Jesus into them at all.
- Parents who talk about doubts help build sticky faith. Doorways for working through questions were created. Powell & Clark share some of the most common doubts that high school'ers and then college students struggle with (p. 73). Great reflections for anyone with a person this age in their life!
- Christian parents tend to avoid tricky subjects. In fact, research was found that the more religious a person is, the less likely they were to talk about sex. (And this often discouraged discussion with parents about any difficult subject.)
So, if you are cultivating a love and passion for God in your own life, the question becomes: How do you use your words well?
Powell & Clark don't neglect to provide some useful lenses for thinking about how to have productive conversations with a young person. Check out page 75-92 for practical discussion and engaging ideas and examples. (Keep in mind, with little adapting, these can be used in the life of any young person God has put in your life.)
- Provide Space and Time for Quality Conversations
- Learn to Listen and Ask Questions, Not Lecture
- Create the Right Venue for Meaningful Conversation (Such as a date night, watching a TV show or movie and discussing the themes, etc. A great example of this is on p. 79.)
- Don't Avoid the Touchy Subjects
- Be Creative if the Child Doesn't Want to Talk to You (This could be summarized as the "missionary" approach... don't expect them to come to you, you come to them. Take them to a movie they are interested in, etc. and see what conversation may happen.)
- Share Your Own Faith: When you are seeking direction, convicted of a sin (share age appropriately), thanking God for something, and so on. Invite the young person to live your journey of faith with you as they continue to grow in their own.
- Seek Out Sticky Faith Ideas from Other Parents: There are some GREAT ideas of things drawn from others on pp. 86-88.
- Talk About Your Doubts
- Develop Conversation Rituals (Some examples: creative worship experiences, dinner conversations, etc.)
Join us in the comments below. Feel free to ask a question or share a response to someone else's.
Which of these stood out to you? Why?
What's an example of how someone has done one of these in your life or someone else's?
Check out the series or follow-up on the conversations in the posts below:
- An Invitation to Sticky Faith for the Generations(Our intro/invite post)
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 1): The Not-So-Sticky-Faith Reality
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 2): The Sticky Gospel
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 3): Sticky Identity
Next week: Chapter 5 “a sticky web of relationships”.