Sticky Faith Book Club, Chapter 4

This is part 4 in an 8 part series on Sticky FaithJoin our book club by signing up here. (part 12, 3)

Yakety yack. Don’t talk back.

Kara opens chapter 4 with an interesting question. “If we planted a microphone in your home, what would we record?” I’ve been chewing on that for a week or so. I’d like to think that you’d hear some significant stuff as Kristen and I lead our home. But, in truth, you might not hear much more than what Kara asserts– logistics.

That’s hardly living the Shema.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

As I reflected on chapter 4 and the Shema one thing popped out to me that I can change right away: I can have significant teachable moments with my kids while going about the logistics of the day. 

Connect the Dots

I’ll never forget having a conversation with Megan a few years back. We were packing the moving van to move from Michigan to California. I was so lost in the logistics of trying to move 4 people, 2 pets, and a semi-load full of stuff 2200 miles that I don’t think we ever really talked to our kids about WHY we were moving.

She said something like, “I know all about San Diego and all the fun things we are going to do when we live there. But I don’t know why we can’t live here anymore.

She was compliant and happy about the move. But she just didn’t get it.

And we had a powerful conversation about following God’s call.

Don’t be a religious leader, be a parent

I’ve had to get over myself with my kids. They could care less that I work with high school students. They could care less about all of the things I do for the Kingdom of God. Doing all of that stuff outside of the home doesn’t automatically translate to sticky faith in my kids. They don’t care that I taught at youth group or wrote something a lot of people liked.

But they care greatly when we go for a walk and talk about what they learned at Awana or talk about the Bible verse they posted on our fridge door from church. In truth, the idea of a family devotional wouldn’t be true to who we are as a family. But we can (and do) have important discussions as we go about our day.

Discussion questions

  1. How do you bring up tricky topics with your children?
  2. The book emphasizes the importance of listening over lecturing, how have you put that into practice in your home?
  3. What’s the best conversation you’ve had recently with your kid? Why do you think it went so well?
  4. Which conversation ritual from this chapter are you going to try? Or what is one you thought of while reading this chapter?





7 responses to “Sticky Faith Book Club, Chapter 4”

  1. Lisette Fraser Avatar
    Lisette Fraser

    Great questions on a great chapter! Man I am loving this book & really appreciating the accountability of discussion – thanks Adam & Kristen!

    1. I’m appreciative that I have parents who’ll talk about anything! My Mum never shied away from tough topics, sometimes I wish she would have . . . but I’m glad she didn’t! 🙂 That model is super helpful & appreciated as I now do the same. My husband on the other hand, had a family that didn’t talk much. It’s been a journey for us to find our way together on that. We’ve tried our best to go with the flow of conversation & be sensitive to where our kids are at. we’ve always told them we’ll answer any question they have – and we have! I can’t believe how hard it is sometimes – harder than with my students! We try to take advantage of moments & do our best to give God perspective to those moments. e.g.. we were driving behind a car the other day that had a gay pride bumper sticker. Our kids asked what it meant, what being gay was, etc. It was a tough conversation, trying to keep it age appropriate, but honest. Then trying to give a godly perspective. But, we don’t shy away.

    2. Good to ponder . . . again, I’m appreciative of my Mum’s modeling to me. I remember the day I came home and told her I tried smoking for the first time. I was terrified at what her reaction might be (yet obviously felt safe since I told her!). She asked me if I liked it? I said not really. She said I might not want to make it a habit then. And I didn’t. Her lack of reaction made me feel completely safe & I didn’t want to try it again. I definitely knew where she stood on things, yet whenever I was struggling, she’d let me talk about it & wonder with her. We try to do the same . . . even though sometimes the lectures come out! We try to really listen & hear. We try to use the theory we train our youth leaders with as well – listen to the unimportant & they are more likely to share the important.

    3. This weekend I was preaching at big church. My husband & kids came to our Sat service & listened in. We all went out for supper after & the kids shared the things they liked (very sweet plan my hubby had). The discussion then turned as my son asked why God created the tree of knowledge of good/evil if He knew what the results would be. Great question oh 8 yr old theologian!!! It was a great conversation on God’s sovereignty & how we know things, and how we don’t know & understand things. I appreciate that my kids will ask hard questions & that my husband & I can ask some back. I think the conversation was great because none of us pretended to know all the answers – and that was ok!

    4. I think our kids would enjoy family goals. My husband & I set goals every year – but I love the idea of having the kids in on it! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Well . . . that was surely longer than anyone needed! However, I super appreciate the space to reflect!

    1. Adam McLane Avatar

      Awesome comment. Not too long for me. I have a lot to learn!

  2. Ben Patterson Avatar

    Wow.  The realization that I have to “get over myself” as a parent is huge!  Anything I do outside of the house is off the scoreboard, join the game that is currently in play!

  3. Beth Hill Avatar
    Beth Hill

    My kids usually bring up the tricky topics.  I use that as a time to discuss them. 

    My husband is a lecturer.  I’m more of a listener by nature.  My kids like to vent to me, even if it’s over a text (the college age kids) I let them vent and then we see if there’s a way we can work on solutions.  I usually start by asking questions.

    One of my college daughters asked me to pray for a friend of hers.  It took awhile to get the whole story, but this friend was in a major crisis and my daughter was in the middle of it.  It led to some great moments of being there and being able to put things into a kingdom perspective. 

    We’ve always done dinner conversations.  We have done highs and lows.  I never thought to ask where God was working.  That’s a great idea.  I think I’m going to continue highs and lows via text with my kids in college, not every day but at least once a week.  

  4.  Avatar

    1. Usually I just try to ask them lots of questions that they can’t answer with “yes/no/I don’t know” answers.  Since I have two girls, it usually centers around the idea of how they feel about everything. 

    2. A couple of things I have to work on:             
    a. Don’t worry about my next question.  I have to be sure to listen to them instead of thinking about what I need to say next to steer the conversation.             
    b. I try to be aware of how long I talk for.  Literally.  Time my answers, and shut up when they get past the 2 minute mark, even if I’m not done.

    3. Talking with my older daughter about a party she went to, how it went, what she felt, what did she like and not like, etc.  It was on the ride home, and she was primed to discuss what she was feeling.

    4. I’ve got to do a better job of sharing my own faith story, in bits and pieces, with my kids.

    1. Brad M. Griffin Avatar

      Jason, I LOVE that you time yourself to not talk too long. That is such good advice–at least to be aware of our own blabbing on and on even if we’re not actually looking at the watch. Killed a lot of conversations that way. 

  5. Patrick DeVane Avatar

    Even though my kids are too small for deep, tricky conversations yet (our trickiest conversation right now is over when we can watch Elmo) I am finding so much encouragement and energy from reading.  

    My wife is already so great at sharing in an open and honest way that invites others into the conversation.  I am learning these habits, too, even though I have a long way to go.  Reading this chapter, however, I can’t help but think ahead to the conversations we will be able to have with you kids.  I’m so pumped at how these simple steps can help them embrace and develop their own faith in real ways.

    It is such a good reminder of the need for open places in our families and our world where we can speak truth – no matter how it looks.  

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