It may have dawned on you that I read a lot and the topics vary widely. A few days ago I read the story of a father with a three-year-old son who, out of the blue, folded his hands, said a prayer to the tune of a nursery rhyme, then proceeded to inhale the hot dog pieces that had been cut up for him to eat.
Both mom and dad were in shocked silence at what they had just witnessed. The child was in a daycare run by a church but they had not stopped to think about the possibility that his caretakers would begin to teach him about God. They had also not discussed how they were going to present the concept of God to him when the time came. Well, the time came and they were not ready. Ironically, the teachings of Jesus encourage us over and over to be ready for we know not the hour of his return.
I tell that story to ask you this; what knowledge or understanding of God will your child have when they leave home? The dad in the story above was raised Catholic but the older he got, the less frequently he attended Mass. At the time his son recited his first prayer, he did not attend church at all.
The question I asked challenges you to think far beyond the stand your child is likely to take on religion. What do they think about how members of the opposite sex are to be treated, how to interact with people from different races and ethnicities, how to respond to others who hold different opinions, what things are appropriate to say in mixed company, their views on drug and alcohol use and a myriad of other social issues that we seldom sit down to discuss? Think about it a little while. How would your child have reacted had they been on the street when a white man got into a fender bender and was subsequently attacked by a group of black citizens because they assumed he voted for Donald Trump? Does your child know how to be humble in victory and to accept defeat with grace?
Like it or not, your children have been watching you since they learned to focus their eyes as an infant. If you have not talked to them about the things they will encounter in that big, wide world, they will default to what they have seen you do. Also, if they have no idea what to do, someone else will teach them. Those lessons come under the heading of The School of Hard Knocks.
Imagine your child in tense, important, uncomfortable, scary, ridiculous and even dangerous situations. Will the things you have taught them lead to the best, or at least a good decision? If not, you still have time to do a little coaching before they move out from under your roof.