Martin Luther wrote in The Estate of Marriage in 1522:
Most certainly father and mother are apostles, bishops, and priests to their children, for it is they who make them acquainted with the gospel. In short, there is no greater or nobler authority on earth than that of parents over their children, for this authority is both spiritual and temporal.
Martin Luther recognized that it was parents who held the most vital role in passing on faith to children. We have a unique opportunity in the world today. Thanks to a wide array of technology we have resources and connections all over the world to help shape our children, but the key educator remains parents.
I don't know about you but this strikes some fear in me. I am a Christian Educator and yet the thought that I am my son's first hope for a living faith is daunting. I know the Bible stories and teach them on a regular basis and still there is a big difference between a Sunday School class and instilling a life of faith in my own child.
Still with all of my own reading on the matter I realize that I cannot give into the fear of not succeeding. The fear is paralyzing, it speaks to your own doubts of God and the world. Anyone with a living faith will know that there are days when it is shaken to the point where it hardly seems to be there. Other days are full of the bright colors of certainty. Most days fall somewhere in the middle however.
The benefit of the world today is that we don't have to rest in our doubts and fears alone. We have a community of faith at St. Luke's and all over the world. We can share our joys and successes and our fears and doubts. It is my hope that the blog can truly become a community to share our ideas and plans with one another. But it cannot be a community of one. Comments and conversation give us the ability to engage one another and partner church and home to the benefit of our kids.
My son turned 7 months old Saturday. Already I see the community of people who love him surrounding him and see all of the wonderful gifts he is given because of that. I want nothing less for each of your children. We can surround each other and our children.
Martin Luther was right. It is us who aquaints our children with the Gospel. But we don't have to do it alone. We have help.
Question of the day:
What is one parenting doubt or success you've experienced last week? What is one piece of advice you'd give to a parent based on your own experiences last week?