I started leading a weekly Family Time with my kids four years prior to launching Family Time Training. Our first Family Time was in December 1994. My daughter, who was then 2-years-old, is now 21.
When I started, I was so excited! This would be the tool I would use to pass my faith to my children, protecting them from the post-Christian culture in which they were being raised. Like most parents, I was looking for “God’s formula”—do A and B and you will get C. I wanted a guarantee my children would grow up to love, follow, and live for Jesus.
I would often draw a triangle with the “G” representing God, “P” representing Parent and “C” representing Child. (See image to the right.)
The line between the letters represents Relationship. I would put FT (Family Time) on the line between Parent and Child. Family Time was the tool to pass my faith.
Let me be clear, Family Time is an effective tool for teaching faith. But, Family Time is not a guarantee. Parents who love Jesus and are intentional about teaching the faith to their children may still lose a child to the lures of the world. Families who use Family Time will still have children who are tempted by drugs, premarital sex, ungodly entertainment, pornography. Some will lose the battle with temptation.
What have I learned in the last 19 years?
First, I had “FT” on the wrong relationship line.
Family Time is about my obedience. It’s a tool I use to be obedient to God’s call to “teach your children.” I may not have control over whether my children listen, remember or do the things they learn. But, I do have control over what I do—and that includes being obedient to God’s call to teach my children fundamentals of faith.
Providing a “plumb line” of right and wrong for my children is a very important benefit to intentionally teaching spiritual truth in the home. My kids will make mistakes. But here is the difference: they will know they are making a mistake! Porn, immodest clothing, and swearing may be seen as part of a normal life for non-Christians, but it will seem abnormal if we provide a Biblical foundation for choices.
Look at the triangle again. See the line between the G and the C? God has his own relationship with my child My child has his own relationship with God. God loves my son and my daughter far more than I am capable of loving. Thank you, Jesus! I pray daily that the line between G and C grows stronger each day.
How can you be intentional about sharing your faith with your kids this week?
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
By Kirk Weaver
Husband to Trudi
Dad to two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder and Executive Director of Family Time Training