Our faith teaches that every child is a gift of God and a fruit of love, that the father and the mother share with each other. As His gift, God entrusts to the parents a son or a daughter, in order to help them attain eternal happiness, which alone can give ultimate meaning for human life. Just like the human body and mind is formed in the womb of a mother during the period of ten months, the children’s character and personality is formed fundamentally in their own family environment. Hence, God gives an important mission to the parents.
God never gives a mission, without providing the means to carry it out. Such a means to forge the character and personality of their children is faith, which the parents are expected to pass on to their children. Thus, the family is said to be the community, wherein faith takes root in the heart of the child.
When a child is baptized in the Church, the parents take responsibility to bring up the child in Catholic Faith. This involves not only teaching the Commandments of God and the doctrines of the Church, but also transmitting a way of life through their personal testimony. The children draw value for their life by seeing their parents praying and being consistent in living their faith, thus associated with God. In this way, the parents are expected, as Catholic parents, to communicate their faith to their children. The perceptive ability of the children is such that whatever the parents do or the manner, they live their faith, communicate a message and affect them either positively or negatively.
Experience shows that the personal testimony of the parents teaches effectively to the children the way of life, pleasing to God. Hence, personal testimony of the parents is the best way to teach faith to their children. When the children see their parents keeping God first and foremost, the children begin to see God as their father and Mary as their Mother and learn to pray following the examples of their parents. Thus, one can see what a wonderful mission, the parents can fulfill in their own family.
God bless you
Fr. Arul Joseph V.