“How does your family deepen its relationship with Jesus at home?” That’s the question I’ve asked several parents like you this year. This month, I’d like to share David Buuck’s reflection on this question. He’s the father of three children, the founder of CASS Housing (an organization that provides family-driven housing solutions for adults with developmental disabilities), and lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Okay David, tell us about your family’s faith life at home.
I graduated with a Theology degree and my wife was a Lutheran school teacher. We’re supposed to be a perfect example of what religious training for our three small children should look like, right? To be quite honest, not at all. It’s only been recently that we began reading through the Jesus Story Book Bible, sharing what we’re thankful for, and saying the Lord’s Prayer before we go to bed. When I say recently, I mean within the last week!
Our 3-year-old has taken to praying aloud at dinner which has become a competition with our 5.5-year-old who now wants nothing to do with praying (because her little sister likes it). My wife and I want to instill a passion for loving God and loving people and it has been an absolute grind over the past few years. Multiple moves, job changes, and church changes have been difficult for our family.
Why do I say these things? Because raising kids is the hardest thing any of us will ever do. We can look back over moments, weeks, and seasons of life and realize how much more we could have done. We wish we would have done more praying, volunteering in the community, or put down our phones to read a bible story together. But we can’t change the past.
But we find solace in that we have today to begin new traditions. We have today and the hope of tomorrow. For us, we got tired of saying, “We should really pray together before bedtime.” So, we started it. A week ago.
So, take heart. The blessing of children isn’t one that is clean and easy. As we fail our children and spouses, we find forgiveness in our Creator. As we continually look to the Father for guidance, assurance, and grace, we then have a wonderful opportunity to share these gifts of God with the children given to us.
As you can tell from David’s story, making faith a priority at home isn’t always easy, even when it’s the focus of your degree, but David points out something very important: It’s never too late to get started. And while you’ll likely make missteps and wrong-steps along the way, God’s there to pick you up. And he uses people—people like David, you, and me—as a help and reminder. And so, may God bless you as you try and fail and try again, because you’re never in this alone—not with him and not with me.