I’m a spiritual late-bloomer. What that means is this: I met Jesus a little later than most. And, while that’s still awesome, it means I wasn’t exactly sure how to raise my own kids around Him or how to teach my kids the Bible.
Years before, “that book” was kept somewhere in the house, unread and untouched. I knew we had one, everyone had one. I saw my dad read it when I was a teenager but wasn’t the least bit interested. Fast forward fifteen years —Those words came ALIVE and I wanted to read more…but, I had no clue how to pass that on to my kids.
So, I did what alot of us do.
I watched other moms.
I discovered pretty quickly that it wasn’t as hard as I was making it. Sure, there are are some portions of scripture a lot easier to teach a child than others, that’s why you see Jonah and the whale on a lot more Sunday School felt boards and very few Job’s.
I’ve noticed over the years that moms who wanted to share their love of Jesus and their commitment to their faith either did one of two things very well…
They kept the main stuff the plain stuff or, they shared what God was teaching them.
Keep the main stuff the plain stuff.
This is how you teach your little ones about Jesus. Share picture books and stories from the Bible. Reinforce that they are loved by Jesus even more than you love them. Make prayer-time before bed a fun time. Tell a story. Sing a song or two.
When Samuel was very young he shared a room with his not-much-older sister, Grace. I would sit at her bedside and say prayers but then we ended almost every night singing “Amazing Grace” because after all…her name, right? But, one evening, as I went and sat beside Samuel, he asked me, “Mommy, can you make up a song with my name in it?” He thought all along that I composed Amazing Grace.
“Sure, I can make up a song with your name in it. Do you have anything special you want me to sing?”
He laid there on his back, holding his favorite stuffed animal to his chest, “Mommy, I want you to sing a song to me called “Awesome Sam”.” he smiled, proud of himself.
Teaching a child about God’s word can be as easy as a story or a song. Or, a song about Jesus with their name sprinkled in a verse or two for good measure.
Share what God is teaching you.
A morning devotion was a lot easier for me when my kids were old enough to read. We would take turns passing around a children’s devotion book or the Bible and read a story or a question. It was one of the best things I think I ever did as a mom.
This morning routine is not always full of rainbows and unicorns. Some mornings the kids were fighting or I was grumpy, or we all were grumpy. The thing was, we still made a point to pick it up the next day.
As my kids became teenagers I was able to even share with them what I was learning about my faith and about the new things I knew Jesus was showing me in His Word. I still do that today. Just yesterday Samuel and I were in the gospel of Matthew and we had a great conversation. Samuel is now over 6ft tall and about ready to get his driver’s license, so I cherish these moments with him.
Better yet, have your teenager share with YOU what God is teaching THEM.
I started something last summer. Instead of having a morning devotion with the kids as a group, I asked my two youngest (the only two left at home now) to pick a book of the Bible to read through with me. Gracie picked the book of Esther — her favorite. And, Samuel was pretty uninterested, so I picked 1 Samuel for us to read..because…duh…his name.
As much as Samuel was pretty blase about the whole thing, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The questions and the discussions we had alone together were pretty awesome. I knew he wasn’t onboard with the whole thing, but once we sat down together and read through a chapter it was a beautiful thing.
This summer? Well, this summer, Samuel chose the gospel of Matthew and Grace chose Exodus. We’re reading through it chapter by chapter. Me and each kid.
But, they’re responsible for sharing a little that they’ve learned after digging in. Which means they’ve learned to do a word study or find a commentary. While we read through in the morning, they stop and share a little something they discovered and thought was really cool.
And, it’s been awesome!
After twenty-four years as a mom, this might just be the one right thing I do with my kids every summer.