Commonly, we think of our Christian faith as a personal relationship between the individual and God.  It is that, but it is not exclusively that.  We need to remember that faith is also a family affair. 

We came from homes, we live in homes, and some look forward to establishing their own homes.  This means that the success and happiness of our individual lives are deeply dependent upon the fate and fortunes of the family.

For that matter, so is the future civilization.  What happens in the home in large measure determines what happens on the streets, in the factories, and in the halls of government.  Don’t be too quick to discount that old adage, “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

The importance of family religion, therefore, becomes clear when we remember the vital role that children play.  We need to go back and remind ourselves of that role.  So often we have called them “the leaders of tomorrow” that it has become a truism, and we tend to forget how true it really is.  In just a few short years, these young people will be holding the reins of all our institutions.  Today they are students; tomorrow they will be     administrators and teachers.  Today they are dependents.  Tomorrow, all the wheels of industry and business will be depending upon them.  Today, they are only children playing in the streets.  Tomorrow, they will hold government offices at every level.

This means that the future of everything we care about depends upon the character of our children.  For myself, I don’t know anything to build character out of except faith in God, the Ten Commandments, and the Sermon on the Mount.

Remember, the importance of family faith becomes evident when we recall that life’s vital truths are more caught than taught.  There are some lessons that primarily involve the transfer of facts from mind to mind.

So it is with Christian faith.  It is passed from life to life, not so much by instruction as by inspiration.  If our children ever possess a strong and meaningful faith in God, it will come to them mainly by process of exposure.  So if real religion has to be caught, home is the most logical place for that to happen.  The church can help, the school can help, friends and neighbors can help.  But in the main, it is the values and principles that children catch at home that go deepest and last longest.

We need to recognize that we are teaching our children something about religion whether we intend to or not.  We are conveying to them some kind of attitude toward the church and Christian faith.  By our actions, week after week, we are telling them that these matters are important or trivial.

We are all teachers of religion whether we want to be or not.  A while back, I came across a little article     entitled, “Kids learn what they live.”  Here is what it said: “If they live with criticism, they learn to condemn.  If they live with hostility, they learn to fight.  If they live with ridicule, they learn to fear. 

But if they live with tolerance, they learn patience.  If they live with encouragement, they learn confidence.  If they live with praise, they learn appreciation.  If they live with security, they learn trust.”

So Christian faith is a family affair; and there is no substitute for it.