This was his first head-on experience with someone who didn’t believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior. He and I discussed how not everyone has experienced Christianity or had an opportunity to learn about Jesus. We talked about the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13. My son planted seeds of faith that day by sharing Jesus with his friend. The two of us had a good discussion but the truth was right there. He would always have people in his life who don’t have a Christian worldview.
It’s hard for children to understand. It can be challenging for parents when a child develops friendships and spends time with families who have a different faith base or don’t believe in God. Rather than sequestering kids, use these situations as teachable moments. We as parents and grandparents can use these relationships to teach respect, values, and faith. The relationships can be a tremendous gift. Here are three ways to build faith and relationships.
- Be respectful. Everyone has differing thoughts. Respect those who have beliefs contrary to your own. Be kind and respectful in both words and actions.
- Model your family’s faith when the friend spends time at your home. Do what you always do: pray before meals, read the Bible, attend church, serve others, etc.
- Pray with and for your child to persevere in his faith. Give your child solid reasons for following Christ rather than choosing another faith or atheism. Every other religion requires doing something. Christianity is done through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all. Show your child the differences and why you chose Jesus.
Our children will have friends of all shapes, sizes, and beliefs. Rejoice in the opportunity to learn about others while diving deep into what you believe. Children need to know the reasons why they believe as they do. Give them tools to defend their faith so they can stand on their own.
By Becky Danielson
Wife to Scott, Mom of two
Licensed Parent & Family Educator
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting
Co-author of The 1 Corinthians 13 Parent Series:
Raising Little Kids with Big Love and
Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love