I think about those Mayflower folks and I’m in awe. What they took on was huge. These weren’t farm people – they were city people.
They were living in England when their beliefs caused persecution, jail and death. They moved to Holland where they prospered – but worried about the influences on their children. They chose to go to a place where they would be the only influence. A good thought but …
That choice took them out of everything they knew. Even their pastor had to stay behind in Holland. After a sea voyage that put their lives in danger they landed in the wrong place (they were headed for Virginia). Not only were there no cities—there were no houses. No shops. Nothing. Half of them died that first winter.
I wonder if they were so busy just surviving that they neglected to pass their faith on the way they wanted to. Maybe they just didn’t have time for all the “whys” that little people ask.
I know children learn from example. They learn things from our example that we wish they didn’t! But, especially with faith, it takes more than watching actions. They need to understand the reasoning, too.
It’s important to talk about it—about why you do a thing. Thinking your thoughts out loud. Letting them hear you discuss decisions as you make them.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
That’s the best way for children to understand how to do it themselves. It’s a living example of faith and truth applied to life.