Thursday, September 06, 2007

Passing on the Faith

For those who missed the sermon series at the church, :Passing on the Faith," here's a recap of the important points:

1. The realization that our society is becoming more individualistic and inwardly focused. Listen to the words of the song "The Greatest Love of All." A previous generation would have said "the love of God," "a mother's love of children" or "love of country" as the greatest love of all. The song says that the greatest love of all is "me."

This is good in creating self-expression and creativity. But it also leads to vastly increased rates of depression and anxiety. It also lowers the ability to relate to others effectively.

Look at the narcissism in a song taught in preschools all over the nation (sung to "Frere Jacques"):

I am special, I am special
Look at me, you will see
Someone very special, someone very special
It is me, it is me

Our task as parents and mentors: teach that it is the love of God that is greatest of all, and move the focus from ourselves to God.

Listen to this great song: "Jesus, Lover of Me Soul" ("It's all about you,'s not about me, as if You should do things my way").

A great book: "Generation Me" by Jean Twenge, which gives facinating (and sometimes frightening) analyses of research done over the past 50 years of college freshmen and their attitudes.

2. Is God a hobby for you? Are church and faith in the optional category? In passing on the faith, you need to move church and faith from the optional to the essential category.

3. Learn to communicate Gary Chapman's Languages of Love:

a. Words of encouragement
b. Quality time
c. Gifts
d. Acts of service
e. Physical touch

Which one of these is what you prefer to receive. It may be that you commuicate love in this manner as well. It's important to learn how the other person prefers to receive love, and learn to express it that way as well.

4. Grace (unconditional love) and Hesed (steadfast love) are important biblical understandings of love to keep in the forefront of your mind and to instill in your children and loved ones.

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