Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that our children learn about through their relationship with us. How do we teach children to have faith in a God they cannot see? We first teach them to have faith in someone they can see—their parents.
Faithfulness Learned from A Parent Who Can Be Trusted
Although Ethan saw that Dad was busy with the papers and calculator spread all over the desk, he came to stand by his chair. He knew when his dad was paying bills, because there was always a little crease across his forehead that wasn’t there other times.
“Dad, do you think you could throw the ball with me? I really need the practice.”
“Son, I can’t right now. I’ve got to get these bills in the mail. How about in thirty minutes? Then we’ll throw the ball for a while. I need practice, too.”
Ethan looked at a book and pestered his little sister while he waited. He never doubted that Dad would keep his promise. He always does.
Children whose parents consistently keep promises learn that their parents can be trusted. That experience carries into adulthood and their relationship with God.
Faithfulness in Adulthood
When tough situations must be faced in life, the faithful adult turns to the Bible to hear God’s promises. The person struggling through a tough round of chemo finds comfort: “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV) The man laid off at work finds encouragement: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
Faithfulness Teaching Begins Early
If we want our children to be faithful, we begin in the cradle. We teach them that they can trust us. Later, when we talk to them about God’s promises, they have an understanding of trust, faith and promises. With that kind of foundation, their faith in God leads to faithfulness to him.
Question: Does this post bring back memories of your own childhood? How did you learn about trusting God and being faithful to him because of his promises?