As we get ready to kick off a new year, here’s a question for you: do you want your kids to grow up with a strong, vibrant, Christian faith?
If so, you’ll need to be intentional about building healthy, lasting relationships with other Christian families.
When I was growing up, we knew our neighbors. My parents watched out for the other kids in the neighborhood and the other parents on the block watched out for us.
If my brother and I were doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing and someone spotted us, my parents would get a call from one of those neighbors.
I believe my brother referred to them as “snitches” or “narcs.” ;-]
But today, the sad truth is that in most suburban neighborhoods we DON’T know our neighbors—or at least we don’t know many of them.
Neighbors come home at the end of the day and the garage door goes up, the car pulls in, and the garage door goes down.
In our disconnected world we need to be deliberate about building solid relationships with other Christian parents who share our values regarding things like entertainment, internet use, drug and alcohol use and sexual purity.
By the way, new research has found that if teenagers have other Christian adults in their life who care about them—in addition to their mom and dad—they are much LESS likely to abandon their faith when they go off to college.
Drs. Chap Clark and Kara Powell at the Fuller Youth Institute recommend that in addition to their parents, every Christian teen should have 5 other adults in their life who will commit to building relationships with them.
These adults can pray for that young person, be a listening ear during times of conflict, and reinforce the values held by the teen’s own parents.
To learn more about this research, go to stickyfaith.org. I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.
Listen to today’s audio here.