Nurturing the Theological Gift of Faith in Your Family
Our first goal in nurturing the theological gift of faith in our family is to teach our children the two greatest commandments: love of God and love of neighbor. Lessons in this school of love take place in every act of love we ourselves give to our God which our children witness. Likewise, they learn to love their neighbor by seeing how we love each other. Our example is the most powerful pedagogy.
We also nourish their faith by instructing them on respect and reverence of our God. This virtue, we believe, is the foundation to a secure faith and a robust love: fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). This is easy to teach since we ourselves require that our children respect us. Then together as a family, we all reverence our God.
Then, there is the most challenging virtue to teach our children: obedience. However, it is an essential dimension of one’s faith as St. Paul reminds us, “the obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5). In his letter to the Ephesians he states, “children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph 6:1). We remind our children what “in the Lord” refers too, namely, Jesus himself, as the only Son, was obedient in every manner to his Father. St. John’s Gospel makes this clear. Again, having our children witness our obedience to God, and our mutual obedience to one another, helps in teaching this virtue. But it takes endurance!
Besides our daily example, we try to nurture the theological gift of faith in our children by praying at each meal, by going to Holy Mass together frequently during the week and every Sunday, by reading the Bible together (and the lives of the Saints, and Catechism), and by praying evening prayers (for instance: the Rosary, the Divine Mercy chaplet, singing together, the litany of the Saints, etc.). Lastly, we constantly invoke their patron saints and their guardian angels.