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Faith and Family

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When we hear the word family, we tend to think of two parents and their birth-children living together. But families come in all shapes and sizes: blended families, single parents or stepparents, adopted or foster children, and unrelated or extended family members who come to stay for a while or for a lifetime.

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Each family has its own challenges, and Just Between Us (JBU) is here to help you navigate those challenges through insightful articles written by Christian parents just like you, who want to see their children grow in faith and to pass on a spiritual legacy that will become part of their family’s culture for generations to come.

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Recently, I was talking to a friend about what my adult children were doing. All in their 20s at the time, one was just graduating college, another was in grad school, and the third was planning to go back to school after working full-time. 

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“Wow, you sure put an emphasis on education,” my friend noted. I thought about this for a moment. We never told our children they needed to pursue graduate degrees, although we did expect them to go to college. Perhaps because my husband has a Ph.D.—and between the two of us, three of our parents had medical degrees—our family clearly values education. While I recognize that higher education isn’t necessary or even desirable for everyone, I do admit that it’s part of our family culture.

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Your culture may be formed by where you live, your socioeconomic status, your values and your own heritage. It may involve unspoken expectations (“You will go to college.”), family rules (“Everyone has chores to do.”) or standards of behavior (“We don’t call each other names.”). It should also be molded by your faith.

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How do you make faith part of your family culture? Like the old adage says, “it’s more caught than taught.” That means making faith part of your everyday life. It says in Deut. 6:6-7, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” If Scripture is a priority in your own life, it will more naturally be a part of your regular interactions with your kids. 

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Children need a firm foundation for their faith to grow on. If they see you reading and studying Scripture, praying, and attending church regularly, and if you give them opportunities to do the same, they’ll know faith is important to your family. That doesn’t guarantee they will always remain firm in their faith, but it gives them an anchor they know they can come back to even if they stray. 

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Parenting will always have its challenges, but creating a family culture around faith in God will give your kids a legacy they can pass on to their own children.

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