He’s one of the happiest little fellas I know. Always smiling. His mama says that well disciplined children are happy children. I’ve watched that with them. They are already clearly drawing lines of right and wrong even though Drake’s just starting to walk.
When I scoop him up, I’m silently praying for him. He doesn’t know yet that he has a martyr’s heritage running through his veins. While I hold him, I’m silently praying that one day he’ll have a passion for Christ like Nate Saint who is not too far back in his family tree.
When he’s old enough to understand, I’m sure his parents will pass the story down to him. Nate and four other missionaries were martyred while attempting to establish an evangelistic relationship with an Indian tribe in the jungles of Ecaudor. In reaching out to give life, they died at the point of a spear.
Hearing Nate’s story, little Drake will know that there is something greater to live for; One who is worthy of laying down our lives for.
As far as I know, we have no martyrs in our family tree, but we shared with our children stories of believers who went against the culture’s stream, who stood for God’s truth while under threat of death, who risked their lives to share the gospel across the world, and who voiced God’s goodness while enduring persecution because of their faith in Him. Believers like: Felix Manz, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, David Livingstone, Fanny Crosby, Corrie Ten Boom, Perpetua and other martyr’s stories.
We introduced our children to these great heroes to inspire their faith, to give them some examples of men and women who loved God more than they loved themselves. At a young age, most children easily gravitate toward Jesus and have no problem believing that He did all the Bible says He did. But as they grow older, children need to see living examples of those who took God’s Word so seriously that they actually live out its truths.
Are you inspiring your children’s faith?
It’s important to introduce our little ones to historic movers of the faith, but they need to experience real-life faith in our homes also. Be intentional in challenging your children to live by faith:
* Lay out large prayers before God and invite your children to join you.
* Point out how God is at work, providing the small and the big things in your life.
* Share with your children your own faith stories.
* Let your children know specific things you’re asking God to do and let them know when and how He answers those.
* Encourage your child to look for opportunities to walk by faith rather than by sight.
* Read through the gospels with your children and have them describe how different individuals expressed faith.
* Invite people into your home to tell your children their “God-stories.”
* Ask God to increase your own faith as well as your child’s.
[box] “And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Luke 17:6) [/box]
This is the faith God challenges us with. Are you training your children to press into that kind of faith? How are you inspiring your child’s faith?