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The Role of Family in the Faith of Our Children

It is a parent’s responsibility to protect and nurture our children. We keep them from harm as best we can and provide them with enriching experiences whenever possible.

The faith of our children requires the same nurturing and protecting.

Whether you have a faithful, Christian extended family or not, your children are learning from their interactions with that family.

Fortunately for our children, our extended family shares our love for the Lord and our faith.

I love that our children don’t have to ask whether we are going to church on a Sunday morning when we go to visit grandparents.

I love that our children have heard their grandfather preach sermons to crowded audiences and have seen him baptize cousins.

I love that during a lightning storm, I hear “Grammy” tell my children that God has created a fireworks show just for them.

Because of the faith of our extended family, our children’s faith is strengthened and nurtured as they hear and see their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins pray, read scriptures, and testify to God’s power.

I realize that not everyone has the luxury of sharing their faith with their extended family, but you can still strengthen the faith of your children if you attend church and fellowship regularly with other believers. Your children will benefit from seeing and hearing Christians of all ages express their faith through prayer, song, and scriptures.

You can also be a faith strengthener for someone else! Consider inviting other families over for Sunday dinner, or a mid-week Bible study or singing. Find someone who doesn't have the benefit of a close, faithful family and be that family for them.

Remember that we are brothers and sisters is Christ.

Let’s be there for one another and lift each other up, especially in the area of strengthening the faith of our children.

Your children will watch and learn from your relationships, and their faith will grow as they see that they have a family of believers.

Now, see what my friends have to say about how family impacts the faith of their children.

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  1. It’s wonderful to know there are family members out there that share the same beliefs. It makes travel easier.

    It is a shame when children as “are we going to church”. I try to find a place to go, even if there isn’t a Church of Christ. To learn stories of Jesus and see people in action for God is more important than not going at all.

  2. That’s great that so much of the family share your faith. Our family is sort of on the same page..my mother-in-law is Christian, but she doesn’t go to church and some of her beliefs aren’t really Bible-based so we have to be careful with what the kids learn from her. My grandpa is a retired Anglican minister, which is great! My dad and step-mom go to a United Church, but I don’t think my dad has a relationship with Christ (I think he believes he is a Christian though..which gets tricky) and my step-mom, who lived in China until she was in her 20s, still believes a lot of what she grew up with..she says she’ll go to heaver her own way. Our church family is fantastic though!

  3. Coupon Rachael says:

    YAYYY! I saw the hubster sold a roof. Praise God :)

  4. What do you suggest for those of us who have family (in-laws) that are not completely respectful of our beliefs? Is it ok to limit exposure to them while the children are young?

  5. This is a really difficult issue…. we want to show ourselves loving our extended family, and honoring (especially) older ones, but where do we draw the line? It’s so tricky knowing when to ‘come clean’ and say to one of the kids, ‘You know, so-and-so is not right when she says…..’
    But still – I think our kids learn so much when we love our non-christian relatives regardless of what they do and say. Love is a great witness :)

  6. Ashley N says:

    Awesome post! I wish that I had family like yours, but alas, we do not…at all. I will have a lot to explain to my son as he grows, like why 3 of his grandpas died (alcoholism), why grandma lives with her boyfriend and isn’t married (we DON’T call him Grandpa, as much as she tries to push it!) and why everyone always has a cigarette.
    My plan is to explain that the people we love are valuable, we love them and our Heavenly Father loves them too. What we don’t accept or want to follow are their bad habits or choices.
    My faith (LDS) has been a touchy subject, even though most of my family have been taught the truth.
    We are entering the temple to be sealed as an eternal family in just 2 weeks (YAY!) and my mom is very upset as she cannot attend. I try to explain that it is a sacred place and if you are unprepared for the teachings of the temple, it is not a faith building experience-probably quite confusing and counterproductive. We are doing a small “reception” in the evening so that my family can still celebrate with us. They are invited to the temple grounds to see us when we come out after the ceremony.
    In the end, I am not going to change my faith, nor the way we raise our son. They know that and (mostly) respect that. I try to involve them by inviting them to church, sharing about what is going on in our spiritual lives, bearing my testimony to them and most important- LOVING THEM! Because I love my family!