Our entire walk with the Lord comes down to one key principle: Belief.
And when He took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. - Revelation 5:8
While this passage is deep with symbolism and meaning, consider this one simple thought: God keeps our prayers. In gold bowls, He keeps our prayers. Why do our meager thoughts and utterances mean so much to the Creator of the Cosmos? It may be because our prayers are ultimately proof of our faith. When we pray we are telling God that we trust Him. Why else would we ask for His help? Why in the world would we waste our time and energy coming to Him if we were not convinced that He IS and He holds all the power? Indeed, our prayers are little scraps of evidence that we believe. Therefore, He stores them like precious mementos in a treasure box.
Belief is what God wanted from Adam and Eve in the garden. We can almost imagine God begging the question (in a very humanized paraphrase): “I told you this would harm you. I know best. Why won’t you believe Me?” And several millennia later, Jesus echoed His Father’s sentiments. When asked what works could be done to please God, Jesus answered, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one He has sent.” (John 6:29).
This core principle of belief is what we must impart to our kids. Our goal is not moral kids who tow the line and look clean-cut on the outside. That would be far too shallow an outcome! No, we want kids who BELIEVE God. When they truly grab hold of His goodness, they’ll trust His instruction, and their behavior will (super)naturally fall in line. And, much more importantly, they will live in relationship with God as He designed it to be (Leviticus 26:12, John 15:4).