Teaching children the importance of faith is not easy. My eldest, who’s almost a teen, is the only one I can somewhat easily talk to about faith. The two younger ones are a different story. I have to be creative so they won’t easily get bored; so they’ll find our talk interesting. So, I decided to use games.
Here are some faith games that I play with my kids, and which you can use for Sunday School and parties.
The Blind Game
Form three groups, with one of the children in each team blindfolded while the others are 20 feet away. The objective of the game is to lead the “blind” team member to a chair somewhere in the room. He or she will not be guided by hand, but by the instructions of his or her teammate. The “blind” team member must listen to the instructions of his or her teammate. Play the game several times until all team members have taken turns at being “blind.”
This game will teach children the positive effects of listening to God and believing in His words. My children love this game, so I’m sure the other kids will, too.
The Saved Game
This game will help children understand that he or she must have faith in order to save and be saved.
You will need two teams, each one positioned on opposite walls. Choose a disciple maker for each team and position him/her in the middle of the room. Show them the “Saved” area or wall. After you count to three, the disciple maker will run to his/her team and grab one team member by the hand. The disciple maker, in turn, will bring his/her rescued teammate to the “Saved” area. Continue doing this until all the team members have been “saved.”
These are just two of the many games that you can use to make teaching faith easier, more fun, and interesting for children. There are many more, of course; but these will do for starters. I’ve tried them and I can vouch for their effectiveness.
Talking to and helping teens understand the importance of faith can be difficult. This is true especially nowadays when their free times are spent surfing online, on social media sites, and playing video/online games. Teens have never been as busy as they are now! As a result, many of them grow up with a shaky understanding of our beliefs.
Faith is a valuable aspect of our spirituality; of our relationship with God. It embraces the essence of trust and reliance. A person who trusts and relies on God has faith in Him. This person is, therefore, a believer.
If you tell your teens what I just said, they won’t understand a single word of it. This is because too many of them live by the “to see is to believe” mantra. Your teens need to see what faith is in order to believe what it can do for them. This may not be your way of making things happen, but it’s the most effective way to get your teens to notice and take heed.
What I am trying to say is that you need to lead by example. What does this mean? It means three things:
First, you need to lead. Encourage them to take up habits like doing a daily devotional. Do this with them. As you wake up in the morning, before you take your breakfast, or before you all sleep. Praying as a family has always been the first step to instilling strong faith in children. Especially in teens.
Make these daily devotions your personal time with God. Once you lead, your teens will follow.
Second, you need to talk to them and assure them that they do not have to become saints or self-righteous individuals to be faithful to God. They only need to be conscious of what’s just and right and live their lives accordingly. Do not force them to be perfect.
Third, let them know that there are communities for teens they can join. Your Church’s youth group or an organization for teens will help expose them to positive experiences. This will in turn help mold them into faith-centered Christians.
You don’t need to force your teens to do anything just so they’ll understand the value of their Christian faith. You don’t have to force them to read the Bible, or to go to Mass every day. You don’t need to lecture them about God’s commandments every time they make a mistake. But, you do have to show them how faith is inculcated into your life.
You need to make them understand that faith is innate in everyone of them. It is just lurking deep inside, waiting for their callout. Once positive practices and experiences are cultivated, faith will come out by itself and manifest in their life.
Most of all, you need to stay with your teens throughout their journey. Do not be there only when they triumph; be there, too, for all the times that they collapse and fail. Be there when they need to hear reassuring words; when they need to stand up from a painful fall. Communicate and talk to your teens. No matter how busy I am, this is one thing that I always find time to do for my kids. Because I know that faith starts at home, with parents who have faith in their children.
Children are curious about words or ideas that are not familiar to them. So, if you talk to them about faith, there is a chance that they won’t understand what you’re talking about. But, letting your children know and understand the value of faith is important. When my younger children ask what faith is about, I tell them in the simplest of ways that it is the strong belief in God even if we have not seen Him yet. Even if I explain it in the simplest way possible, my children’s questions do not stop. This necessitates that I need to find another way to explain the concept to them.
So, I decided to do some research and talk to people and true enough, I found several tips that can be helpful in making children better understand faith.
1. Faith is all about believing even if you have not seen or experienced it yet. Give a good example to your children, something that they can easily relate with. For example, explain to your little girl that faith is like believing in fairies even if they have not shown themselves to you yet. To your little boy, you can explain that faith is like believing in Superman even if you know he is only a TV character.
2. Faith is something that can save you. Let your children know that if they have faith and believe, they will be saved by God. Faith is a gift given by God so that we have something to hold on to even in the most difficult of times. Tell your children that faith in God will help us survive trials in life.
3. As I mentioned earlier, faith is a gift from God. Tell your children that faith was given by God, so that we will always have a connection with Him. And so that He’ll know how we are doing. If we have faith, everything will fall into its rightful place.
4. Faith is equivalent to trust. So, if you have faith in God, you trust Him. Let your children know that they can reach out to God whenever they are having problems at home and in school. If they have faith in God, they won’t have anything to worry about. Their trust in God will bring them closer to safety.
5. Faith is prayer. Tell your children that whenever you pray, you are actually telling God that you trust Him. That you trust Him to keep you safe. You trust Him with all of your life. With faith, prayers are easily answered, because you believe that God will listen to and hear you.
To help your children develop great faith in God, it is important to:
-Find everyday happenings that you can use as an example of faith.
-Train your children to read the Bible daily. If you need to, read with them. If there are things they do not understand, explain these to them by giving examples.
-Teach them how to write letter prayers to God. Buy a simple journal for them and encourage them to use this for their prayer notes.
The best way to teach children to live by and in faith is to set a good example. This is our responsibility as parents.
Every time we talk about our faith, or religion and spirituality in general, people react. It’s like we don’t have the right to talk about it in public anymore. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with talking to people about your faith or your religion. It is your right; your responsibility, even. However, your intention should be to inform and inspire, not to force anyone to believe what you believe in. This is what I always remind myself and my family.
Faith is a very personal matter. But, this does not mean we should not talk about it to other people. God and His apostles talked to a lot of people about faith. God did so because He was the one most qualified to do so. The apostles did so because they knew it was their responsibility as God’s faithful servants. They did it because they knew they could help others live better Christian lives.
Faith is an important aspect of life. It is essential for you to believe in something; in someone. It is important to have faith in order to live.
I do not profess to be an expert of matters like this but I am confident that I have raised my children to be persons of good faith. So, I believe that I am capable of helping anyone who strays from the right path; anyone who has lost his faith in practically everything and everybody.
If you are one of these persons, here are some things that you can do to bring back faith into your life:
Prayer is the best way to communicate with God. It is also the best way to examine yourself. Prayer is also a motivator. Every time you pray, you’ll become stronger—and your faith increases.
Pray not only for yourself and your family. Pray for others, too.
Read/Listen to God’s Word
The Bible is an interesting book. You’ll find a lot of stories that you can relate with, especially in the Old Testament. Spend some time each day to either read or listen (audio tapes) to the Bible. It will open up a lot of wonders for you.
To supplement your Bible reading, you can get a copy of the latest Our Daily Bread, which is, in itself, a good reading companion.
Go with People Who Understand What You’re Going Through
Join a mission group, a Bible study group, a Christian camp, or any other group activity of the same kind. Surrounding yourself with people who live by faith will make you feel welcome. The energy that will radiate to you will be positive because you will be surrounded by people who understand you; who knows what you’re going through, but who will stick with you.
If you can’t find a Bible study group or a camp, sign up for membership in your Church. You can join the choir or the Mass servers. Participate in Church and community activities. Interact with as many people as you can. When you build healthy relationships with positive people, you value yourself more and your faith increases.
These are just some of the things you can do to get your faith back on track. Remember, we walk by faith; not by sight.
Faith—belief, confidence, trust. These are only some of the most common definitions of the word faith. To me, faith is more than just a word. It is a way of life. It is something that I value as a family man, a company leader, and as a Christian. It is what connects me to God.
In today’s modern world, many cringe or frown when the word religion, Christianity, or spirituality is mentioned. It’s like they are allergic to these words. Some are even vocal about their disdain against anyone who publicly talks about religion; about faith. While I understand that they have their reasons, I also believe that we have the right to talk about something that’s important to us. And if, like me, you value faith in your life, then you should have the freedom to talk about it. This is why I’ve decided to talk about the importance of faith to Christians; or in living a Christian life.
Why Is Faith Important in Our Life?
Here are five strong reasons why faith should be an important element of our Christian life:
Faith is hope. It tells us that something better is waiting or planned for us. It is hope because even when we receive no guarantee, we continue to believe. We continue to have faith even if there is no certainty. For example, we choose to get married to our significant others even when we’re not sure how our relationships will turn out. We get married even when we’re not sure what the future holds for us. That is faith. It is not only a belief or an expression; it is what our hearts speak.
Faith is something that pleases God. Faith is believing that God is in our life. It is believing that we will find Him even when we are in our darkest moments. Faith strengthens our relationship with Him, and He sees this and justly rewards us. This is why even we’re faced with one obstacle after another, we do not give up. Because we have faith that God sees us and is going to reach out to us and help make everything better.
Faith is all about answered prayers. People who doubt are often faced with worries. But, those who have faith will not have time to wonder, because they believe that they will receive what they need; what they are asking for. Faith tells us that God answers prayers. After all, it was Jesus who said in Mark 11:22-24 that “whatsoever you desire, when you pray, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.”
Faith is our armor; our protection. If we have faith, we will be shielded from evil and wickedness. It is like an armor that God sends to us every time we need his protection. If we have faith in Him and in what He can do, we will always be saved.
Faith keeps us together. My family and I have been through several storms. Despite everything, we held on to our faith in each other and to our faith in God. Although we had to accept some changes in our life, we were kept away from harm. We were saved because we believed we were doing what was right; because we had (and still have) faith in God.
These are very simple things; but when you bundle them up, they’ll have a significant effect in your life. So, live with faith and by faith if you want a life that’s blessed.
Today, I am going to talk about faith. Faith that means “belief in the existence of God.” Faith that you read about in stories, and in the Bible.
Many people get turned off when the conversation turns into something religious or spiritual. I used to be like this, too. I used to wince every time my friends and colleagues would talk about their faith; their religious beliefs and practices. After a life-changing experience, however, I decided to take on a new path—one exactly like the path my friends tread. It wasn’t an easy journey as there were moments of indecision. But, because I was determined to become a better person, and to live a better life, I turned to my faith.
What is Faith?
Faith is more than just believing in God. It is about believing in what is real or true even without seeing or witnessing it. It is that feeling of sureness about realities or things that are not seen. It says, “I have faith that God is creating wonderful things for me.” Faith is proclaiming that “I can do this because God says I can,” even if you didn’t see Him telling you so.
A person who values his faith is blessed. Just like the disciples. These disciples were ordinary persons; they weren’t perfect. They made mistakes and sinned, but they helped heal the sick, comfort the lonely, and give life to the hopeless. All because they had faith.
This is the kind of faith that I like, not the one that says “Believe me, I can do it because I’m strong (or rich or intelligent).” Faith in the One above is the kind my family and I embrace.
How to Live in Faith as a Christian
I make it sound easy, I know. But, living in faith is not as simple as 1-2-3. You have to have the determination, the passion, and the confidence that you can do it. I faltered several times; but I picked myself up because I was determined to become a better person. I was passionate about becoming a real Christian.
I am confident to say that I am now a Christian who lives by faith. To become and remain one, I slowly learned how to plant faith into my being; into my life. I started to translate that faith into reality by inculcating the attributes of someone who lives by faith into my daily life.
The first step was to get to know God again. We all know who God is. We all know about the great things He has done and continue to do for us. But, at some point in our life, we decide to look the other way and ignore Him. Although I did not totally turn my back against Him, I often (unconsciously) removed Him from my priorities list. To learn how to live by faith, I resurrected my connection with Him. How? By praying (more like talking to Him), reading the Bible, and by simply being around others who shared my faith.
I learned how to acknowledge things as if they have already happened. I learned to think positively. Instead of dwelling on things that cannot be, I started to focus on the more positive things. I learned how to live as if I’ve already achieved my goals. Remember, you become what you think. So, thinking negative will produce only negative results in your life.
I turned my back on temptation. Temptation makes us do a lot of bad things. Once you allow temptation to rule over your life, it works like a chain and creates negative effects. Turn your back on temptation by praying for courage, and for the wisdom to know which choices or paths to take. I am not perfect. I still make mistakes. But, I do my best to consciously keep away from any form of temptation.
I learned how to find quiet time to meditate and listen. Communication is not a one-way street. Therefore, you should not do all of the talking. Find some quiet time and learn to listen to God. In the quiet of your heart, hear Him telling you of His faith in you. So, you should have faith in Him, too.
I learned to hold on to hope. People with faith do not easily lose hope, no matter what the situation is. If you stumble, don’t give up. Start anew. I did, and look where my faith has brought me. I have never been happier and more content with my life. Hope is what faith is all about.
Living in faith is not easy. But, living without it is more difficult. So, just continue to hang on and do what needs to be done. I held on to my faith because it was the only one giving me direction. My life is definitely better now.