As For Me and My House...

A Practical Guide for Leading Your Kids to Christ
Baptism

Train the young in the way they should go; even when old, they will not swerve from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

What is your dream for your children? Health, happiness, a good education, a good career, and good friends, etc. Never once has anyone said “Heaven! My dream for my child is eternal life with God in heaven!” Quite honestly, it’s not something that most parents think about, especially in the midst of busy family life. It certainly was not on my radar when I was a young parent. No one had ever told me that this was something that God had entrusted to me. Somehow, I did not connect the dots even though I made the promise that every other Catholic parent makes when bringing a child for baptism:       

Celebrant: You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the             responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?

I dutifully answered, “I do,” but, honestly, I had no idea what that entailed… Over time, I came to realize that I, as a Catholic parent, have the awesome privilege and responsibility to help my children come to know Jesus and to help them discover God’s plan for their lives. I also have the responsibility to help them recognize that the real purpose of their lives in this world is to work out their salvation for the next. As I began to internalize this idea, the faith life of my children became my No. 1 priority…

Faith is the best legacy I can pass on to my children. It is the only thing that’s truly important since it is what gives ultimate meaning to our lives and helps to direct us to our ultimate end… God had my attention, and He began the work of transforming my life. One of the many fruits that came from this transformation was a new-found appreciation for how powerfully family life can impact the faith trajectory of my children. Families are close to God’s heart. In fact, they were his idea in the first place. God has given the human family great dignity and purpose—to raise up children who know him, love him, and walk in his ways…

God is calling parents in no uncertain terms to ensure that the love of God takes root in the hearts of their children, and no human community is better equipped to do this than the family… I also discovered that God never gives a mission without providing the means needed to carry it out. God does not expect me to do all this on my own power. Rather, He wants me to be dependent on Him so that He can provide me the grace and wisdom to be a good parent and help me during the challenging moments of family life… Many parents want to make a difference in the faith lives of their children but aren’t sure how to start. Sometimes it can be like trying to navigate a road without a GPS…

The best way to equip your children to face these challenges and to cultivate in them a Christian worldview is to help them to meet Jesus and grow in relationship with Him and His Church. You want the best for your kids, but our heavenly Father wants this more than you do! It’s comforting to know that you don’t have to be an expert to raise your kids in the faith. God does not expect us to be perfect; He just asks us to be faithful. God will send his Holy Spirit to be your GPS, and He will guide you if you but open your heart to receive the grace for the journey.

Opening Excerpt From: “As For Me And My House : A Practical Guide for Leading Your Kids to Christ” by  Anita  Houghton

The complete guide by Ms. Houghton is only 36 pages and it is a wonderful resource for all parents no matter what stage of raising children/grandchildren you may be in. To read the complete guide please click here.

First Communion Banner Making