Building Children’s Faith Through Traditions

Building Children's Faith Through Tradition

Growing up, we didn’t have much spiritual tradition in my family. We went to church here and there and I was reminded to pray here and there, and we said a blessing before dinner here and there, but that was really it.

I remember one babysitter, I think his name was Darren, who prayed with me before putting me to bed one night. I’m guessing this stands out because I doubt anyone else ever did that with me.

As I sat down to write this post I thought about my own children and what memories they might already have and which ones will come. And I thought about the foundation I have the opportunity to build with them:

I want them to know Jesus Christ… but I also want them to want to know Him on their own.

I want them to feel comfortable talking to our Father and call out to Him in joy and in sorrow.

I want them to want to walk with Christ and to want to explore the Bible and to want to help others in Jesus’ name and pray for others.

Fortunately, my kids attend a fantastic Christ-centered school that has had its own traditions since the 1800s.

The school, and my churches through the years, have taught me the traditions my husband and I have added to our own family.

My children, from first grade, memorize at least one scripture per week for school. We back that up at home by reviewing, reviewing, reviewing… and talking about each week’s scripture. “What does that mean to you?” we ask. “Why do you think God wants us to know that,” we wonder together.

For the Christmas program each year, the entire student body recites all of Luke Chapter 2. I have to admit it really does bring tears to my eyes every year I hear it. I love that each of those children will carry that in his or her heart and mind forever.

In addition to giving to our home church on Sundays, our children contribute to a chapel offering on Wednesdays. The school selects different beneficiaries for the gift each month and the children know exactly where the money and their prayers are going.  This was one area my husband and I had already taken pretty seriously and had already established a tradition of helping others in need by giving financially and in prayer, so it has been fabulous to see the school do the same. And even more exciting to see our children truly want to help others.

On our own, I created an Advent Calendar for Moms several years ago that I update and use every December. This helps me to keep my head and heart in the right place, and it is a lot of fun, too. By centering me on my Savior, it centers the rest of the family, too.

I tried to keep a Fruit if the Spirit Tree going but, to be honest, this one fell by the wayside. Fortunately, my children’s faith didn’t fall by the wayside with it, and perhaps when all of them can read and participate by ‘catching’ each other showing those fruits, I might revive it.

I may not have a big list of unique traditions used by our family, but the ones we borrow, we borrow with a whole heart. And it is wonderful to see those fruits.

Our kids are quick to jump in with prayers for others. They are generous when given the chance to contribute in Jesus’ name. And I think they really do know that Jesus loves them.

This post is part of a series called The Faith of Our Children. This month, each blogger was asked to share how we employ traditions to build the faith of our children. Please be sure to visit the other women participating in the series and see what traditions their families use:

What traditions does your family use? Or which ones would you like to try? (I’m always looking for a few to borrow!)

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