An example of teaching your kids about Jesus
A few weeks back we had some friend’s little boy stay with us for a few days while they were away. He was a joy to have around. He’s a polite, thoughtful, funny, active little boy of about 6… and I’m glad we had him around for that short time.
One morning when I awoke he was already up. He was in the living room playing with some toys and I invited him to come sit with me to eat some cereal. He was pretty hungry, so he eagerly came. Here’s part of the conversation we had over breakfast…
ME: So, what have you been doing this morning, Joe?
JOE: Hmmm… I had my time with the Lord, then I looked at a book, then I played with toys.
ME: When you have your time with the Lord, what do you do?
JOE: Hmmm… today I read… I mean I looked at, that Bible book with all the pictures that Caleb has. (Caleb is my 13 year old son and he has a “comic” Bible he got for Christmas last year.)
ME: And do you pray also?
JOE: Yesh. (it’s so cute how he says “Yesh”)
ME: Why do you think we have time with the Lord every day?
JOE: Hmmm… to glorify God!
ME: (laughing at the cuteness)… Yes, it does give God glory when we have our time with Him every day. But it also helps us get to know Him. In His Bible He’s told us all about Himself, so when we read it we get to know what He is like.
ME: The Bible tells us how much He loves us. He loves us so much that He gave us Jesus. Did you know that?
And the conversation went on from there…
A great example to learn from…
Our friends have done an EXCELLENT job helping their little boy lay a foundation of belief in Jesus.
Even if he’s not placed his faith in Christ yet, he is well on the way. Notice a couple of important things about Joe’s 6 year old mindset…
- He’s got at least a basic understanding of “the Lord” as a person. Notice that he talks about the LORD in terms of relationship (spending time with Him). That’s a sign that his parents have been doing something right.
- One of the first things he does every morning is “have time with the Lord.” Isn’t that amazing? Many of us adults struggle to do that! Joe doesn’t understand everything it means yet, but he knows it’s important. I bet his mom and dad have shown him it’s important by their example too (they’re my friends, I know they have).
Joe’s folks have done a wonderful job so far. They’ve laid the groundwork upon which Joe (as they continue to help him) will be able to build an authentic, growing relationship with the LORD that becomes a vibrant part of his life.
It is not the Sunday School teacher’s job to teach your kids about Jesus… it’s yours.
The Sunday school teacher (Christian school teacher, youth group leader, pastor, etc.) was never meant to take your place as the spiritual leader/teacher of YOUR children.
That’s your job (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).
And it has to, HAS TO, HAS TO begin when they are very young.
Because our most formative, impressionable, “open” years as human beings are the first 5 to 6 years of our lives. We develop lifelong beliefs and habits in those years that serve us well, or drag us down… for the rest of life.[pullquote position=”right”]As a Christian parent, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you give your children the gift of daily habits of faith, ongoing relational interaction with the Lord, and a life that is filled with the Person of Jesus.[/pullquote]
YOU HAVE THE AMAZING OPPORTUNITY to set your children on a road that will enrich their lives more than any other.
That’s not hype.
That’s not an over exaggeration.
It’s the truth that every Christian parent needs to know… embrace… and apply diligently.
How to teach your children about Jesus
- Model it yourself. When they see that you believe time with Jesus is important, they’ll take it seriously themselves.
- Talk about Jesus in every aspect of life. Bring Him in to the conversation. Make Him known to them. Make His relevance to every situation clear.
- Talk about Jesus as a Person… not a concept or thing. He’s real… and must be real to you and to your children.
- Share your faith struggles with them… let them see how you strive to listen to and follow Jesus in the hard times of life. Don’t shelter them… teach them to take shelter in Jesus.
- Require (yes, require) them to have a “time with the Lord” just like Joe’s parents. Sit down with them and show them what to do… how to read the Bible (or their Bible story book), what kind of questions to ask, how to think about what they are reading, how to apply it to their child’s life. Help them make it a habit.
- Teach them how to pray – genuinely and from the heart.
- Do these things EVERY SINGLE DAY in some way. Your kids will learn Jesus to be a very real and powerful presence in their lives if He is that kind of priority in your home.