So the statistics are sobering, right? I remember deciding to take a break from reading all that negative information. It was overwhelming, and it made me feel hopeless for the youth I was beginning to work with and my own children. It was like every little mistake I made had a ton of consequences in my kids’ lives.
After taking that break though, I found an interview with one of the creators of the cartoon series “Veggietales”. This was a guy who had a tone of experience creating products that were supposed to help children understand their faith better. He was now a parent to a couple of teenagers and was asked the following question: “What parenting lessons did you learn from all these years invested in the Veggietales project”? His answer was not what I expected, but it changed my perspective on being involved in my kids’ lives. He said, and I will paraphrase, that after years of doing Veggietales, he grew frustrated with himself thinking that he was falling short in his “mission” as a father in his own home. He then realized that the mistake he was making was that he spent most of his time studying how to be a better parent. However, he had been neglecting himself. Especially when it came to his relationship with God.
You see, we will always fall short of perfection. That’s just us being humans. Especially us men!! We’re just stubborn. But listening to the second part of his answer, I learned that there are two things that happen when we decide to refocus our efforts, from being better parents, to being better followers of Jesus. Here they are:
1- When we focus on our relationship with God, He in turn becomes the one in control of our families. It’s as simple as that. It’s like when you watch your kids struggling to get something done on their own, when all they need to do is ask for your help. You know that you could probably help out, but they need to let you do it. It’s the same way with God.
2- When we focus on our relationship with God, our kids in turn watch and learn. This is the most powerful teaching tool there is out there. The saying is true that “Faith is better caught than taught.” Let your kids see you praying, worshiping, reading the Bible, struggling, etc. I promise you, they will learn!
I hope this is a helpful resource for you! Our next part will be all about practical things Fathers (and even mothers) can do to better their relationships with kids.
Youth Ministry Team