“Are you pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down?” That was a question posed by a friend from Mississippi. It was his way of verifying that I truly got what he was saying. He wanted to make sure I saw the value in what he was offering? Are your kids “pickin’ up what you are layin’ down”? Are you layin’ down your faith in a way that they want to pick it up?
In this second week of Advent, the candle lit represents the FAITH Christians have in the miracle conception and birth of the Lord Jesus in Bethlehem. Born of the virgin Mary, the Savior came into the world. Mary did not understand how it would be possible but her response to Gabriel reflected a devout faith in God – “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Mary had picked up the faith her parents laid down through their teaching and example.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill what He has spoken to her!” – Luke 1:41-45. There were actually two miracle births within six months of each other. One was by ‘natural’ conception, yet Elizabeth had been baron and both she and her husband Zacharias were “well along in years.” When an angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias and told him that his wife would bear him a son, he picked up his faith in religion and doubt ensued. The angel struck him dumb until his son, John, was born. The second miracle birth was by immaculate conception. Mary’s faith and trust in the Lord God was affirmed when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. Similarly, the faith a dad lays down is affirmed as he sees his kids mature. Whether dad lays down faith in the world, in religion or in Christ, children will pick up his lead. The charge is to lay down a devout faith in Jesus the Christ.
Tips to lay down a faith kids want to pick up:
- Lead a family discussion time around faith with candid vulnerability;
- Read Hebrews 11:1 as a family and discuss the “reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen”;
- Share Reverend Tony Evans’ unique definition, “Faith is acting like something is so even when it is not so in order that it might be so simply because God said so.”;
- Discuss what you are “layin’ down” that reflects your faith with a friend this week.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for the miracle births – one that prepared the way for the Lord and One that established the Way to You. I confess that I have laid down many mixed messages around the holidays and have disconnected from the true Reason for this season. Forgive me. Help me lay down the right stuff and reflect the faith my kids need to see, faith in the miracle birth of You. Grant me strength to lead my family in the faith well, that they want to pick up the relationship I have with You, my Father, through Your Son, Jesus the Christ. That is the dad You call me to be, and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father lays down a faith in Jesus the Christ that kids want to pick up.