The Sniff Test

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014 in Motherhood | 2 Comments
The Sniff Test

Have you ever blown it? Have you ever blown it as a parent? My answer is yes to both… a dozen times every day. Have you ever been disappointed by your lack of faith? If you are right there with me, then this statement from my last blog could bring a touch of fear or frustration:

“The biggest influence we may have in determining the outcome
of our student’s faith journey is what our children see of our faith.”

As I finished writing last week’s blog, I just could not leave this topic alone. When the people we love, especially our children, are being introduced to all the lies of the 21st century culture, what can we do? I know that as my children have entered their teen years, what felt like a safe assumption of them following the Lord fully seems more and more fragile as political correctness and peer pressures push closer in. Talking about the faith of Moses might work for a 6 year old, but the 16 year old is asking, “What difference does your faith really make?” or “Is God’s way really better?”

Does this mean we have to walk out our faith perfectly? No. Does this mean if we have not followed the Lord their entire childhood that we are sunk? No. Does this mean you have to discern God’s will correctly all the time? No. It means that your faith must meet the sniff test. Is it ok to say that?

Perfect church attendance or little cliché Christian sayings are not enough. Blessing your meal or forcing a family devotional when you are on your “A” game is not it. A Christian school is not the answer. Our kids need to see that we are truly dependent upon the Lord. Our kids need to see that God is real. Our kids need to see that God is active. Our kids need to see that we are hungry. Probably the song I sing to the Lord the most is this:

Hungry, I come to You
For I know You satisfy.
I am empty, but I know
Your love does not run dry.
So I wait for You.
So I wait for You.

I’m falling on my knees,
Offering all of me.
Jesus, You’re all
This heart is living for. *

Here’s the beauty of where our desperation for our kids to turn out OK intersects with the Lord. If you have not previously felt like your faith was evident to your children, consider that sometimes the Lord uses those very same kiddos to remind us that He alone is worth waiting upon. It is when we realize that only the Lord can protect our children and nurture their faith, that we become aware of how desperate we are to see Him work. When we acknowledge our need to have the heart of God to be able to have a chance at parenting well, our faith takes a huge step forward in authenticity and dependence.

Are you a parent? … a grandparent? If so, then you have a daily reminder that even the best attempt to protect and lead our children falls short without God’s divine hand. Allow your love for them to cause you to seek after Him all the harder.


(* Kathryn Scott © 1999 Vineyard Songs)


  1. Tasha
    July 22, 2014

    Oh my goodness, this is so what I needed to hear!! My son will be 15 in a few weeks,and here lately I’ve felt like I’ve lost it with him more times than not here lately. This spoke to my heart. I’m sure I’ll lose it, say things I shouldn’t, and do things I shouldn’t. So I fall on my knees before a Holy God for the strength and wisdom to raise a Savior seeking, Christ following young man. Thank you Karin for your blog and encouragement. God bless you!!

    • karinconlee
      July 23, 2014

      I think you are in good company. Parenting is a humbling experience. Thankful we have a Heavenly Father to guide us!


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