Working Out Their Own Faith

working_out_their_own_faithOur family recently had the opportunity to visit with friends at their daughter’s birthday party. The kids had a blast, and we were able to catch up on recent happenings. But instead of walking away feeling refreshed and encouraged, I found myself thoughtful and frustrated. During our short visit, the father had expressed to my husband how he hoped we had enjoyed the young years while they had lasted. His reasoning? He went on to explain that all children need to work out their own faith and go through their own gospel experience. Now that our children were teens, we would lose our children to the world and they would rebel.

While I believe his heart was in the right place – he meant to impart wisdom – his words rubbed me raw. Do all children need to accept God on their own? YES! While it might sound like a cliché; God does not have any grandchildren. We don’t piggyback on our parent’s faith. We need to have our own. What I do not believe is that all children need to go through a hard, rebellious stage before accepting Christ as Savior. While there are no foolproof ways to keep our children from rebelling, there are steps we can take which help them make the right choices. Not all children go through this stage.

So, how do we go about preventing rebellion? I honestly think it all boils down to relationship. When our children know we love them and our choices reflect this love, they are less likely to rebel. When our children love us in return, they will do everything in their power to please us and bring us joy.

The key to squashing rebellion is love. We ought to be loving on our kids constantly and allowing them to love on us. We have open communication with lots of talk about why decisions are made in our home. Love is not casual permissiveness. (We don’t just give them what they want.) Love sometimes means correction, discipline, and consequences. When we love on our kids to this extent, we know who their friends are and their friends’ families. We know who is offering influence and we curb those choices; explaining them to our kids and why.

I believe that when our children see the evidence of love in our relationship with God, in our marriages, and for them, they will naturally want to please us. This love also opens doors for how they view God. Through our conversations, our actions, and our affection, our children see faith in action. They will see the blessings that come with a life lived for Him. They will see the distinction between those who rebel and those who obey. Our children will naturally come to their faith and without necessarily having to experience a tragic testimony.

Does this mean our children are perfect? Heavens, no! We aren’t perfected yet so why would be expected this of them? What this does mean, is that they will not willfully go out and hurt themselves, us, or God. While they might make mistakes, they are not doing so out of mutinous emotion.

I can always tell when I am failing to love on my children as much as I ought. Our children question my authority, they act out, and they have a hard time controlling their own emotions. This is a wake up call for me. I have somehow dropped the ball and need to bring things back into perspective. Once I get things back into focus, our children naturally resume their loving nature. The problem is usually me!

If I learned one thing from that afternoon with our friends, it was this… Unless I want my children to contribute to this statistic, I need to be proactive. I have a choice. I can allow this to happen or I can strive to prevent it. The only way I can see that happening is through strong doses of love. Supernatural, unconditional love; which only comes from the Father. With His help will my children be victorious in working out their faith.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
~ Proverbs 22:6

Your Turn!: Do you know a family whose children have yet to rebel? What do you think was the key to their success?

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6 thoughts on “Working Out Their Own Faith

  1. I had no rebellion stage, at least where it came to faith and family! School was a different matter, but that also turned out alright so…

    Family relationships are the most important part of it & personality also plays a role. Some children are more prone to ‘seeking something new’ than others, but even then there is a -big- difference between purposely being disobedient or hurtful & just looking for information.

    You’re SO RIGHT. Not every kid will go through serious rebellion and many don’t at all; I think part of the misnomer comes from people, in general, being more prone to think about a negative experience than a positive one. Also, unfortunately, teenage rebellion has become widely accepted in society. It shouldn’t be that way, it doesn’t have to happen, but many families set themselves up for it by expecting it. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy situation!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with you, teens do not have to go through rebellion, and yes, love makes the biggest impact for our kids. I’m on my 5th teen thus far and every one of them have been such a gift through those teen years simply because I treat them exactly how i want them to treat me; with respect, kindness, attentiveness, and a whole lot of patience. Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never rebelled. I saw in my parents and our church family the way a solid faith brings GOOD into one’s life. I wanted the peace and love that I saw in Christ’s followers. However, while I was raised in a Christian home, and believed in God, I don’t think I really, really “GOT IT” until I was about 18 or 19 years old. While studying the book of Matthew, suddenly I understood what Christ did for us. I began to believe in the Christ of Easter, not just the Christ of Christmas–if that makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely! It was the same for myself. I would have told you I believed and understood my faith, but it wasn’t until I began studying apologetics that I was truly on fire for the Lord.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story!


  4. I absolutely agree with you that all children do not have to go through hard times before they come to Christ. You referenced one of my favorite scriptures regarding parenting; proverbs 22:6. I believe as parents we have to share the gospel with our children, teach the Bible to our children and live lives that reflect what we teach, as well as creating space for them to experience God for themselves. As I read through the scriptures with my children, ages 16, 9, and 7 I see more and more how their faith is increasing and how their love for God increases more and more as they understand His love for each of them individually.

    Liked by 2 people

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