Faith Formation – a Lifelong Journey
God is the potter who molds and shapes us. Many factors influence the growth and development of our faith and the beginning of that journey for our children. Participation in Christian worship and Sunday school are important to passing the faith to the next generation. But, in a world in which we are bombarded by electronic communication and ever changing cultural influences, we need to be reminded of the critical role parents and extended family members play in modeling faith—and a faithful response to God’s call.
Martin Luther called the home the first church and we can say the same thing today: our homes are the first church experienced by our children. This is where they are nurtured and where they first experience forgiveness. This is where they soak up not only our words, but also our actions. Are we modeling love to one another, justice towards the poor, admission of our own shortcomings and the ability to forgive and be forgiven? Our actions need to speak as clearly as our words.
Church and home are both places where children see what it means to be the “children of God.” Can we find tangible ways to model what it means to be a disciple of Jesus? Can we counter the pull of popular culture—a culture that often draws us away from God?
We can! We can be intentional in our practices and we can equip ourselves to share our faith—encouraged to do so. Mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins can all help, by sharing their faith. We invite you to use blessing rituals at home and to see the ideas for nurturing faith practices that help us to follow Jesus.
A Daily Blessing to Give Your Family Members
When you say goodbye to your children leaving for school or daycare, take a moment to remind them that Jesus is always with them. Make the sign of the cross on your child’s forehead. As you do so, say a brief blessing. You might say: “(child’s name), you belong to God, Jesus loves you.” or “remember that Jesus is with you always” or “God has blessed you, so that you can be a blessing today to those around you.” Be creative as you find your own words to remind your children that you are blessed to be their parent and to share God’s love. Teach your child to give you a blessing, too!
See the Faith Practices pages using the menu above.