With it being Hispanic Heritage Month, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to pass on heritage to our littles. We are a multicultural family, so passing on culture is something we really value. However, even more important than passing on our culture, is passing on our faith. Sometimes it can be awkward or forced starting a faith conversation with our littles. If they’re non-verbal it’s even worst, because it’s a one-sided awkward conversation. But here’s the good news: It doesn’t have to be.
This week I am going to be sharing some super simple ways you can start sharing your spiritual heritage with your littles. Whether you grew up in a Christian home, or you came to the Lord recently, you have a faith journey to share, and your littles have so much to glean from it.
What is a Spiritual Heritage?
A spiritual heritage is the faith journey we are passing down to our children. It is communicating to our children that faith and a relationship with God is a value in our families. Passing on a spiritual heritage does not guarantee that your children will grow up and choose to follow Christ. None of us can be saved through our parents’ faith. We all must make the choice to follow Christ individually. However, choosing to share our faith invites our children to come to faith, and follow us, as we follow Christ.
Start with you.
Your family’s faith journey starts with your personal faith journey. We as parents cannot give what we have not received. We need to be spending time with the Lord, not only for our littles, but for ourselves. Not only that, but we need to let our littles see us spending time with the Lord. That may be them seeing us read our Bibles, or letting them hear us pray, or turning on worship music we enjoy. Showing them that we desire relationship with God communicates that the Bible is not just a book of fairytales they will grow out of. Prayers are not simple rhymes we say to make ourselves feel better. The word of God has power. The prayers we pray bring us into relationship with the God of the universe. Faith is not just child’ s play. It is what will carry us and our children through the storms of life.
Make faith apart of your daily rhythms.
It’s easy to leave our faith at church. We bring our kids. Drop them off at their classes. They learn about Jesus for the week, and yeah. We can check that off our list for the week. But what if I told you, passing on a spiritual heritage is made to be so much more than that? Deuteronomy 11:19 says we should teach our children God’s word “while sitting in your houses, when walking by the way, when you lay down, and when you rise up.” Faith is not something we are meant to walk in on Sunday and leave the rest of the week. It is supposed to be apart of our everyday lives. Making it apart of our daily rhythms. That may look like reading the Bible at breakfast or bedtime. Listening to worship music on the car ride to Target. Simply taking a break before you eat to pray and thank God for the blessings in our lives. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple, find what works for you and your family. It may feel awkward the first few times, but when your toddler starts having her stuffed animals pray before she feeds them “pizza.” Or your preschooler is singing along to scripture in the car, you know something is sticking, and it’s worth it.
Talk about your faith
If we want our littles to know why we love the Lord, we need to talk about it with them. It may seem hard, and a little awkward. But their are tools you can use. We use a Spiritual Heritage Jar. It is basically a conversation starter that our littles can explore and gives us a way to simply share our family faith journey. You can read more about this tool in my post: Spiritual Heritage Jars: What Is It And How To Build One.
Find Your Tribe
Finally, find your tribe. We need community. We need people in the lives of our children who will speak life into them. Who will pray for them. Who will be role models other than mom and dad, on what it means to live a Christian life. More than just for our littles, we need this for ourselves too. This parenting gig is hard, and we can’t do it alone. We need people that will stand with us, and encourage us. For many people this may be church. For others, community may be found in joining a MOPS or BSF group. Or it may be found, in simply being intentional and inviting another Christian mom friend over for a playdate. The church shouldn’t be contained to four walls, or even to a single day of the week. We need to be living it together in our every day, for us, and for our littles.
Passing on our Spiritual Heritage is something we do in our everyday.