Clink! Clink! Clink!
A spoon clanging against a cereal bowl. This is the sound that woke me up every morning as a boy.
I never needed an alarm clock; the sound of my father eating Corn Chex was sufficient for awakening my spirit. I’d stumble out of bed and make my way to the top of the stairs, where I saw him: My dad, sitting there at the table, finishing breakfast and reading his Bible. This sound and sight occurred every single morning in my house.
On Saturday nights as a teenager, my dad took me to our church. While many of my friends were hanging out at the mall or attending a sleepover, we set up Sunday School classrooms and cleaned the nursery and toddler rooms. When we completed these tasks, my dad and I would either go play basketball or go to the movies. This was our thing, every Saturday night.
My dad and I never really talked much about the Bible or serving others, but I knew he cared about it because I saw it. Day in and day out, weekend after weekend, he modeled for me what it looks like to prioritize being in God’s Word and serving others. Now as an adult with my own family, these are some of my favorite memories, and these priorities have stuck with me.
As parents, what we are passionate about sticks with our children. If we are passionate about politics, our children are more inclined to political interest. If we watch and talk about sports often, our children are likely to be engaged with sports. If we love animals and volunteer at a local shelter, our children will likely be animal-lovers, too.
The same is true of faith. If we as parents live as fully devoted followers of Jesus, our children will notice. With the Holy Spirit’s power, we can paint a picture for our children of what it means to be hungry for the Word of God and live in pursuit of truth. As we cultivate our own personal walk with Jesus and seek to be people that truly want to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” this leaves a deep impression on our children (Psalm 34:8).
Don’t get me wrong--placing faith in Christ is ultimately a personal decision that each of our kids must choose for themselves. A student will never be “saved” based on their parents’ faith or the type of school they attend. But what they see and experience in the family environment is highly influential.
It’s important for us to continually assess what our families are engaged in and what priorities we are communicating to our children, asking ourselves questions like: Among our priorities, how high is the Kingdom of God? What kinds of activities are filling our nights and weekends? Are we deceiving ourselves, merely listening to what God has to say, but not doing what He’s told us (James 1:22)? Are we as parents painting a clear or distorted picture of what it means to genuinely follow Jesus?