Guiding Young Adults on Religious Beliefs for Moral Upbringing 

by Rahim Said

In an age where our children face unprecedented challenges and distractions, the wisdom of our elders often provides a beacon of light to guide them. 

I come from a large family where my father, a draftsman in the Drainage and Irrigation Department, earned a modest RM300 per month. Despite our financial constraints, I was blessed with a scholarship from a US university and a local agency, enabling me to pursue higher education in New York. 

The night before I left for college, my father, a man of few words and deep faith, came home from the mosque and imparted a piece of wisdom that has stayed with me ever since. He said, “Son, tomorrow you’ll leave for New York, but remember, God exists in America too!”

This simple yet profound statement carries a powerful message for young parents today. In a world filled with moral ambiguity and constant change, instilling a sense of religious belief and moral grounding in our children is more crucial than ever. Here is how parents can use this principle to guide their young adults:

1. Faith as a Moral Compass

   Faith, regardless of its form, offers a framework for distinguishing right from wrong. It provides a set of ethical guidelines that can help young adults navigate the complexities of modern life. Teach your children that their faith is a constant, no matter where they are or what they face. It’s a moral compass that remains steady, guiding them through the stormy seas of life.

2. Global Perspective on Beliefs

   My father’s words remind us that faith transcends geographical boundaries. Encourage your children to respect and recognise the presence of diverse beliefs wherever they go. This understanding fosters tolerance, empathy, and a broader worldview, helping them become respectful and open-minded global citizens.

3. Consistent Values in a Changing World

   As young adults step into new environments, they are often exposed to differing values and practices. Equip them with a strong foundation in their own beliefs and values, so they can hold onto their principles even when faced with contrasting ideologies. This internal consistency is key to maintaining integrity and making morally sound decisions.

4. Role of Prayer and Reflection

   Emphasise the importance of regular prayer or reflection, regardless of the demands of their new life. These practices offer solace, clarity, and a reminder of their core values, helping them stay grounded amidst the hustle and bustle of life. Encourage them to set aside time daily for spiritual connection, as it nurtures their inner peace and fortitude.

5. Modeling Faith-Based Living

   As parents, the best way to teach is by example. Live your faith openly and sincerely, showing your children the practical application of religious beliefs in everyday life. Whether through acts of kindness, integrity in your dealings, or the way you treat others, your actions will speak louder than any words.

6. Open Dialogue About Challenges

   Create a safe space for your children to discuss their doubts, fears, and experiences regarding their faith and morals. An open dialogue ensures they feel supported and understood, reinforcing their trust in the guidance you provide. This also allows you to address any misconceptions and provide reassurance when needed.

In conclusion, the essence of my father’s advice is timeless: faith is not confined by borders. By nurturing this belief in our children, we equip them with an unshakeable foundation that will guide them through life’s myriad challenges. Let us, as parents, embrace this responsibility with love and dedication, ensuring our young adults grow into morally upright and spiritually enriched individuals.

Remember, no matter where life takes them, God exists there too.

Dr. Rahim Said is a human behaviourist and regular contributor on digital media platforms. He is a professional management consultant, a corporate trainer and an executive coach specialising in coaching of senior executives and individual entrepreneurs with the purpose of modifying their behaviour in the pursuit of their cherished missions. (The views expressed by our columnist are entirely his own)