Normally, to pass the faith to their children, the parents give emphasis particularly on the reason and the will. In other words, ideas and the will are predominant, along with devotional praxis.
Lately, it has also been an emphasis on "unsacred" faith. In other words, a faith turned to the social, leaving behind the personal bond with the living God.
As we can see with the growing "practical atheism" (believe in God, but act as pagans), especially among young people, this form of passing the faith doesn't work anymore.
How can we, then, pass the faith and be well successful in it?
The key is in the Practical Faith in Divine Providence. If we manage to discover the God of our life, in daily events, we´ll be able to pass to our children a faith that not only will root in their minds, but will penetrate in their hearts. Then it will be natural for them to count on God, on his presence and company.
Our goal should be the union between faith and life. We want to cultivate in our children a faith that leads them to a personal encounter with Christ and that remains indelible in their souls, in a world increasingly drifting away and indifferent from God.
As spouses, we must have the conscience that God has united us and wishes to have a love story with us, for our good and the good of our children. He has a life project with us and we´re called to progressively discover it and fulfill it in faith.
So, the first step is to show our children that we are a family with a history, and with a history full of God, who was present in all events, in the happy and in the sad ones.
We can relate the events of our family history with the history of our salvation, with Jesus' life, in its joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries. In this way, the understanding of the great history of salvation will vitally enlighten the meaning of your family and personal history.
One way to do it daily is, for instance, during night prayer ask each one to tell how God our Father acted in his or her life that day. It might have been a request answered, or a reencounter with someone dear, or simply that mommy made his or her favorite food. The parents should also demonstrate God acting in their lives. This way, little by little the children will create the habit to see in everything God´s Providence.
Another way is, in a family meeting, to show that all the most important events of the family history, God was present and acted, always with love and for the good of the family.
This is the living faith that we should pass to them. Then, the faith is no longer something theoretical: it becomes a way of life difficult to lose.
Thoughts to consider:
1. Can we highlight some more important marks of our family history and discover the presence of God in them?
2. Do we have the conscience that we live again, in our own history, the events of Christ´s life? What are our joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous mysteries?
3. Is our faith personal, in other words, do we have a personal encounter with the Lord, with God the Father, with Mary in Holy Spirit?