Article by www.thesource4ym.com
Maybe you’ve been asked a question by your teen, similar to one of the following: “Mom, I want to invite Jacki to youth group but I don’t know what to say.” “Dad, do you think my friends and I could start an FCA at our school?” “When I asked Nick about his faith, he said he didn’t want to talk. What do I do now?” If your kids approach you with questions or ideas along these lines, I would certainly tell you to encourage them and applaud their efforts. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to pray for them, as well. But what else can you do to intentionally help them develop courage in their faith life? Here are a few ideas to point you in the right direction.
1. Help them set (and reach) goals in a way that bolsters confidence. I applaud your child’s faith and enthusiasm for believing that open prayer will one day be returned to classrooms across the nation. But there’s nothing wrong with starting that initiative at a lunch table, either. Would it be nice to offer An Introduction to the Bible in every local high school? Absolutely! But God can work wonders through the lives of students who study John’s Gospel ten minutes before class starts each day. Before our kids lead their entire school to faith in Christ, they’ll have to lead one friend to Jesus. Help show them how to set small goals and move forward from there.
2. Give them specific and practical ideas to help them. “Well, son, just pray about it.” “Listen to the Lord, honey.” “God will show you what you need to do.” All of that is biblically accurate counsel…but it’s also fairly generic, too. No NFL team reduces their strategy to “scoring more points than the other guys.” They watch film to look for weaknesses in the defense. They have their offense create new plays. They get as precise as they can to ensure victory. As parents, we need to do the same with our kids’ faith. If your kids approach you with questions about how they can introduce their friends to the Christian faith, plot and plan with them to develop clear-cut ideas to help them be successful.
3. Model courageous faith in your own life. Since this doesn’t go without saying, I’ll say it: if you hope to see courage in your kids’ lives, they’ll have to see it in your life, first. If you set a low bar, they will probably do the same. But if they see you routinely stepping out of your comfort zone, they’ll be more inclined to follow. So, do your kids ever see you share your faith? Do they ever see you take a stand against injustice Do they ever see you invite neighbors to church? Do they ever see you pray for those in need? Do they ever see you defend the weak and helpless? And do they ever see you give, serve, and lead at church?
Spend some time in prayer asking God how He wants you to model more courage in your own life and then share with your family what you plan to do out of obedience. As parents, we have the wonderful opportunity of raising the next Joseph, Ruth, Samuel, Daniel, Mary, or Timothy. Those faithful men and women started off as kids with incredible courage in God. Help foster that courageous faith in your kids and see what God will do through them!