Raising Your Children in the Faith

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4

What are the most important things parents can do to raise their kids in the faith?

I suppose we, first, have to simply acknowledge that it is the parents’ responsibility to raise their children in the faith.

There’s been a movement in our society to let kids figure God out on their own (or decide there is no God). Recently, I’ve been seeing 50+ messages a day on TV instructing my kids on how to wash their hands. Yet, I’m not supposed to instruct them about God? Nonsense.

Ephesians 6 gives both a positive and negative spin on it. Father’s don’t provoke your children to anger (negative). Do bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (positive). This is also echoed in Colossians 3,

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” – Colossians 3:21

The Negative
How we treat our kids affects them (surprise). If we constantly put them down, nag them, or are overly harsh in our discipline, we can provoke them to anger and cause them to be discouraged. Yes, all kids will get angry at their parents at times, but by showing them compassion (and with them maturing some), they will move past that and see the wisdom and love in what was done. When we mistreat them, they just become perpetually angry and discouraged.

The Positive
God’s way is different. Like He does for us, God wants us to lift up and encourage our children. We are to teach them about the Lord and encourage them in the faith. Notice, this still includes discipline, but it’s loving discipline intended to teach and strengthen.

When we do this, our children can grow up to know and love the Lord. They can grow up to be wise and love their parents.

Dads, You Count…A Lot
Sitcoms, for a long time, disparaged fathers. They were shown to be idiots and unable to raise their kids. Thankfully, I’ve seen this trend starting to change. The truth is fathers are extremely important (and capable) in the raising of their kids, especially when it comes to teaching them about Jesus. 

In fact, a European study, “The Demographic Characteristics of the Linguist and Religious Groups in Switzerland” found,

“The religious practices of the father . . . above all, determines the future attendance or absence from church of the children.”

So, what is the most influential way we raise our kids in the faith?

We live our lives of faith in front of them. We don’t just talk. We do. We regularly participate in the church. We read the Bible. We pray. We care for others. We forgive. When we sin (and we will), we confess and ask for forgiveness. We do all of this with and in front of our kids.

Children tend to emulate their parents, especially when they aren’t provoked, but are loved and cared for. So, let’s give them something to emulate.

Dear Jesus,

You have not only loved us with words, but with actions. Help us to love our children with both words and actions. Forgive us when we do wrong. Keep our children and ourselves firmly in the faith.


In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Kurt