This past Saturday, I had the privilege to host a Parent/Grandparent Seminar. One of the session topics was “Building a Home”. For a guy who once lost all power to the first floor of his house after trying to fix an outlet…building a house is pretty overwhelming…and the thought of building a spiritual home, well that can be just as overwhelming.
So the next few weeks, I’d like to share the basics of building a home….not a house (because I can barely build a play house, and I wouldn’t know where to start). But a home, well a good place to start is God’s Word, more specifically Psalm 127:1 – Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. This verse has less to do with the hammer and nails, and more to do with wisdom & parenting. So in each of these steps, you will notice God’s Word supporting each idea and steps toward building a spiritual home.
Step #1 – Foundation – A Foundation of Faith
How is this Accomplished?
1st, Bring them to church – Hebrews 10:25
Kids Who Become Active Christ-followers as Adults (from Lifechurch.tv)
If mom and dad went to church: 72% of kids will as adults.
If mom only went to church: 15% of kids will as adults.
If dad only went to church: 55% of kids will as adults.
If neither mom nor dad: 06% of kids will as adults.
Your church attendance makes a difference. Teens are leaving the church at a rapid rate, and the biggest reason is not they are mad at church, but they just don’t see it as important. The famed theologian Justin Bieber was recently quoted as saying “for me, I focus more on praying and talking to Him. I don’t have to go to church.” You as a parent need to show them it is…for spiritual growth, encouragement, place to serve, for community, and most of all to give glory & honor to our great God.
But it’s doesn’t stop there – the practical benefits are numerous. Academically, Sociologists from BYU and Rice University found religiously affiliated youth are 40 percent more likely to graduate high school than their unaffiliated peers and 70 percent more likely to enroll in college. Behaviorally, other studies have shown that religious involvement can also reduce drug & alcohol use and promiscuous behavior.
2nd, Don’t be afraid of the “G” word – Joshua 24:15b “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
The Barna Group published an incredible statistic. It found that less than 10% of families who regularly attend church have spiritual conversations in the home. WHY is that?
Is the TV too loud? – The average American spends more than 34 hours a week watching live TV, plus another 3 to 6 hours watching taped programs.
Communication Breakdown – According to NPD Group Research – Devices now outnumber people in America 425 million to 315. Somebody call Orson Welles! Is your cell phone a distraction? Do you have a “no cell phone rule” at the dinner table? The “distracted parent” has received wide-notoriety, as an article in the Wall Street Journal stated “Injuries due to playground equipment in kids under five are up 17 percent; swimming-pool injuries have climbed 36 percent in the same age group…a tweeting mom’s two-year-old drowned while she was posting pictures of a tortoise that was in their backyard.”
Not a Priority – God and His Word need to the foundation. Not education, not comfortable living, not even an iPad…it has to be God, and He needs to be brought up in conversation. 40 hours of TV…at least mute the commercials! Barna says: Parents that regularly discuss spiritual matters, actively serve in the church, and pray together with their kids are almost twice as likely their child will remain faithful! Deuteronomy 6:7 explains God should be discussed all the time. Use teaching moments whenever they present themselves. May have to sacrifice sleep with this b/c teens open up the most at 11pm…but do what you can to use these teaching opportunities ALL DAY LONG.
3rd, Address Doubts & Encourage Independent Faith
Most spiritual doubts occur in jr. high and high school – help them through it. Don’t dismiss their doubts, but help them to make their faith their own. Don’t force it on them. Work through it with them.
If we break down Colossians 1:23 phrase by phrase, it gives us a 3-dimensional faith that we all need to have, especially our kids.
Persistent faith – “continue in the faith”
Perceptive faith – “which you have heard and which was preached”
Personal faith – “and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister”