Confessions Of An Average Parent

May 10, 2012

Faith At Home

“A chip off the old block.” “Flip side of the same coin.” “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” “Like father, like son.” “She lives up to the family name.”  As common as these quotes are, one thing is for certain whether we parent good or whether we parent badly, we are parenting, and our children are like video cameras with legs. Like it or not, they´re always on the record mode.

I like the insight that Michelle Anthony shares in her book, Spiritual Parenting:

  • “There are times when we don’t even realize the things we are passing down to our children just because they live among us and learn from us in every one of life’s situations” (pg. 202).

In a previous blog post I shared the latest national research conducted by the Search Institute.  561 congregations across 6 different denominations responded to a survey titled, “The Most Significant Religious Influences.”  The research was designed to determine what factors and which people most influenced teenagers in their faith.  The results:

Parents were the people who most influenced faith in their teens.

That’s the good news!  The bad news according to the research was how little time the average parent spends talking with their son or daughter about faith:

  • Only 5% of fathers have a regular dialogue with their child on faith/life issues.
  • Only 12% of mothers have a regular dialogue with their child on faith/life issues.

I wish that I could tell you that my wife and I are “above average.”  I wish that I could share that as parents of children with special needs that we excel at creating time in our daily schedule to teach our boys the tenets of our faith.  The truth of the matter:  we’re average parents.  As much as we love our boys we are not doing any better than the other 5% dads or 12% moms out there.

I don’t want “average” for my kids, special needs or not, and I’m sure you don’t want “average” for your kids either.

So what’s the first step in turning this around?  I think the answer is found in Deuteronomy 6:

  • “Impress them [the commands of the Bible] on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (v. 7). 

This idea behind this passage is that parents are to teach God’s commands to our children daily.  We’re to talk about them when we sit at home, when we’re on the road, at bedtime, and when we get up in the morning.  In other words, we are to spend time teaching our children about faith-related matters during the daily routines of the things that happen in our homes!

Here’s a short video by Ed Stetzer about this passage:

I hope you’ll join me on this journey of discovering how to be a more intentional parent.  I’ll need all the support I can get! In addition, I’ll be providing some ideas and resources specifically for special needs children along the way!  If you’re interested in joining me, then either subscribe to this blog or click “like” on our Special Friends Ministry facebook page so that you can be notified when new posts are published.  Michael Woods

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About Michael Woods

Christ-follower, husband, chocoholic, and peanut-butter lover! I'm a father to triplet boys...each on the autism spectrum.

View all posts by Michael Woods


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