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Spiritual Director’s Message for May

April 21, 2010

Will Your Children Inherit Your Faith?

The most valuable asset we have as believers is our faith.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, the apostle reminds the young man that his faith was inherited from his grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (II Timothy 1:3-7). What are you doing to pass on your faith?
Children observe our faith by the lifestyle we live. We can pass on doubt, frustrating fear and unbelief, or we can give them steadfast faith. A parent who preaches the Bible but doesn’t live by it, teaches her children they cannot trust God. If you want to leave your family with a faith that money can’t buy and death cannot take away, live by the Book.

We also pass on our faith by persistence. Our sons and daughters need to see us trusting God day after day. Family prayer is essential to building solid faith into our children’s lives. As a boy, I listened to my mother pray and watched the Lord answer. If you don’t pray as a family, start today.

We can pass on our faith by participation in our children’s lives. They want to know that we feel what they feel. We need to take part in their hurts and failures and tell them our own stories of pain and disappointment.

I recently read a survey of college students that showed the things they dislike most about their parents. The students dislike their parents’ inability to admit when they are wrong. If we want our sons and daughters to say “sorry” and ask for forgiveness, we must be willing to do the same.

And at times we pass on our faith by refusing to bail our kids out of the messes they get into. God doesn’t fix the problems we create until we get right with Him and learn the lesson He has in store for us. It is more important that your children learn to trust God than it is for you to be on friendly terms with them.
My grandfather shared with me his basic principles for living, and they have governed my life. Will your faith live on when you are gone? Your children deserve a faith legacy that will endure. Start building it today!

Yours in Christ,

Jim Sunderland
Spiritual Director of Keystone Emmaus Community
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