This series has many areas of excitement in thinking about leading others to Christ in a way that encourages a sticky faith. But, today, we also learn there is a significant, even difficult, place of humility as we live this out over months, years and decades.
As Powell & Clark express, all of this conversation and research is not for a parent to have control or to be able to mold the child in what they want to see...but it is to lead the young person to a personal faith, a personal relationship, with God through Jesus Christ. That God may mold that young person's life.
So how can we view the big picture of Sticky Faith? That's where we'll go today.
[If this is your first time, we are concluding our summer read of Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids, which you can get here or see below for our blog series on it.]
With many useful examples, Powell & Clark provide some good reflections from their research and biblical reflections:
- Children need to own their own faith (rather than live from ours).
- Unconditional support produces children who are more likely to have sticky faith. (Rather than isolation, performance-driven agendas, and abandonment. Not surprising when we consider God's example to us...)
- Growth and change are necessary...and often messy. (Good counsel in pp. 181-3 if you are in particularly hard times.)
- Your faith impacts your child more than any other factor. (It's not about research, actions without heart and faith, etc. Living our faith in Christ whether in expressions of prayer, serving those in need or other areas)
Research is useless without application. Powell & Clark continue to provide practical ideas, small or large, that will help you nurture a child's faith in Christ. Check out pages 185-190 for useful ideas and deeper explorations of these.
- Foster a lifelong friendship with your child (With a useful discussion of 1 Peter 3:15).
- Rely on God's people for support (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
- Give your child to Jesus (with some very real sharing from the authors about their own struggles in this...).
All this takes great humility that comes from our having a deep faith in God. In that, we turn to have a Christ-centered life, that in the valleys and hills of the sticky faith journey, we might be faithful. Toward that end, their concluding sentences are a good reminder:
"...leave your child with Jesus. Stick with Jesus always, and trust Jesus to always stick with you and your family" (p. 190).
What are behavior or attitudes that a parent (or other adult mentor) can have that contributes to a child pulling away from them or the faith?
As we conclude, what do you sense God is leading you to as a "One Big Takeaway" from your reading this summer?
THANKS...for joining us in this series!
May God bless you as you continue to pray and seek to be families in homes and as a church family that encourage our kids in a faith that loves and follows Jesus Christ.
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
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 4): Sticky Faith Conversations
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 5): A Sticky Web of Relationships
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 6): Sticky Justice
- Sticky Faith (Ch. 7): A Sticky Bridge Out of Home