Making Faith a Part of Everyday Life
By: Carla Slater Kettrick
If I were to ask you to describe 'faith,' what would you say? Would you say:
- Faith is believing in God
- Faith is living out the teachings of the bible
- Faith is trusting in something that you know is real
We all describe Faith differently. It means something different to everyone and no one definition is more correct than another. No matter how you define faith, it must be a part of everyday life.
The United Methodist Church describes the basics of our faith as part journey. An excerpt from umc.org states that “Faith is the basic orientation and commitment of our whole being – a matter of heart and soul. Christian faith is grounding our lives in the living God as revealed especially in Jesus Christ…Faith is believing in God…Faith is following Jesus…Faith is hoping for God’s future. Faith-as-belief is active; it involves trusting, believing, following, hoping.”
Faith has definitely been a journey for me. I am always discovering new things about my faith and feel it intensify as I grow older. When my kids have questions about God, I see my younger self in them. I asked those same questions and wondered when I would get answers. I still don’t have the answers to all my faith questions, but I tell my kids that I am still learning and growing in my faith. We will never have all the answers. What matters is the journey. The journey can begin any time.
Pastor Carey Nieuwhof, from The Parent Cue blog at parentcue.org, writes about making conversation about God normal. He asks “How does God get worked into the rhythm?” You see, if we are to encourage our children’s journey in their faith, we have to make our faith a priority in our daily lives. Neiuwhof points out that families have a rhythm that becomes normal and is valued. So, why not create a rhythm that makes talking about God normal? For your family this might mean saying prayers at night regularly, having your children say grace at dinner, or reading and discussing devotionals. Our family uses Dinner Table Devotions by Nancy Guthrie. But, it can be spontaneous, too! When the conversation happens is not what is critical. The important thing is that it becomes normal, a part of life.
Helping to create a rhythm at home fosters your children’s faith journey. Openly talking about God and being available when your kids have questions, even when you don’t know the answers, launches your child on a path toward greater understanding of their faith and even of themselves. It is not about knowing all the answers, but being open to the questions. You are on the journey together.
I read somewhere that “Faith is like the wind. You can’t see it, but you can see its effects.” When you make God a part of everyday life, you will be amazed at the effect it will have on your family’s faith journey!