Rethinking Phrases:"Their own Faith"

Rethinking Phrases:"Their own Faith"



If I heard it once while I was growing up I probably heard it about a thousand times, kids have to have, “their own faith”. I used to never think anything about it, but over the last few years, I have come to believe that this is not a very wise statement. I want to be perfectly clear; I am NOT saying I believe that someone else determines your salvation. I believe the bible is very clear on this topic: 2 Corinthians 5:10, and Romans 2:6 are just two examples of scripture where it is clear we will be judged based on our own lives.

The reason I have a problem with saying that kids have to have, “their own faith”, it implies that they are not supposed to have their parent’s faith. Which quite frankly does not make any sense to me. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.

I know there are more than a few different opinions about this verse out there, but I believe the principle here is that someone has to install a set of beliefs in children. This can be done in a right or wrong way, but I believe that to be the case. So why should it not be PARENTS?

At the Freed-Hardeman lectureship this past week I was able to listen to one of my favorite writers, Wes McAdams, and he made a good point. He was teaching over the kinds of relationships grown children had with their parents in biblical times. One of the things he said really struck a chord with me.

People often debate about the idea of loyalty of grown children, McAdams said, “People ask the question, are children supposed to be loyal to God, or to their parents? WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE EITHER, OR?”

Parents have a huge responsibility when it comes to raising children. And I understand that parents need to raise their children to make decisions on their own. But maybe we should rethink the phrase, “their own faith”.

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