I learned many lessons from my parents. They passed along the importance of getting an education, their passion for finding something that makes you happy, and the love they had for family. One thing they did not pass along was their faith. My father was a devout Catholic, but he never talked about faith. My mother went to church on occasion, but again, she never talked about her faith. In my home, faith was private and not to be shared or discussed.
In Judges 2, the children of Israel who entered the Promised Land had vivid recollections of the miracles and judgments displayed by the Almighty. They understood the importance of walking in faith with God. The problem was that they did not teach their children about God. They may have shared a surface-level understanding of God, but not the depth that was necessary.
“When that whole generation had passed away, another generation came after them who didn’t know the LORD or the things that he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10 CEB). This new generation had taken things for granted and did not develop a relationship with the Almighty. I am sure there were some that did have a deep faith, but as a generation, they did not represent themselves as people of God.
We are not born with a relationship with God. It is something we develop. If we have parents who have deep faith and are open about its importance, then perhaps we will be fortunate to have that faith passed along for us to develop as we choose. It may not even be parents or family members that instill that initial idea of faith. A person with a strong influence in our lives may be the starting point for our faith journey.
The Israelites didn’t just forget about God. They had influences from the Canaanites. The gods of the Canaanites played a big part in this generation and led them astray.
How do we, as parents, friends, and family help our children learn about faith? Are we simply practicing our faith without talking about it?
Perhaps it is time to think about how we are sharing our faith with the younger people in our lives. It is never too late to start talking about why faith is important.