Sunday, April 18, 2010

Learning about Jesus

Last night after we put Lauren to bed, Samuel, Ryan and I sat out on our screened in porch, and read a Children's Bible that we were given for Samuel. We sang songs (This Little Light of Mine, I've Got the Joy Joy Joy Down in My Heart and Jesus Loves the Little Children) and prayed together. Samuel now folds his hands and closes one eye when we tell him it's time to pray. So adorable.

We hope to have some sort of regular family devotions in the evening once Samuel is a little older and has a bit of a longer attention span :) I know last night was a peek into what those devotions might look like in the future.

What joy there is in reading about a man who couldn't see until Jesus healed his eyes. And about someone who had enough faith in God that he wasn't hurt when he spent a whole night with some lions. And about how Jesus loves all the little children in the world.

There is much responsibility to 'train up a child in the way he should go.' Ryan and I pray that God would give us insight into how to parent and train Samuel in light of who God has created him to be. We pray that God would remind us that Samuel is a gift given to us and it is a special privilege to have the opportunity to raise him to know and love Jesus. 

I don't want our conversations about Jesus to be limited to 15 minutes in the evening when it's "family devotions" time. My desire is that our home would be filled with the presence of Jesus, our lives would represent the hope that comes from knowing Him, and our words and actions would reflect the love of our Creator.

I want to talk to Samuel at meal times, nap time, play time, bath time, bed time and in-between times about the Jesus that loves him and about what it means to love Jesus back.

But I also think there is importance in coming together as a family, slowing down, quieting down and taking time to read, talk, sing and pray together.

I would love to hear about what it looked like in your home growing up when you talked about Jesus. How did you learn to pray? Did you memorize Bible verses? What songs did you learn to sing? Did you have family devotions, and if so, what did that look like?


Kim said...

I was raised in a house with parents of different faiths. My father was Catholic and mother southern baptist. They decided to raise us Catholic...and father took us to Church every Sunday and we attended private Catholic school for many years.

Outside of school & church, we were never taught scriptures, never spoke about Jesus, never even prayed as a family, not even before meals. Looking back I wish we did.

I think part of my struggle with finding a faith has much to do with the lack of reinforcement in my home growing up as well as the division of beliefs.

I now understand the value in having both parents practicing the same faith and together.

I do remember songs from my childhood, mostly the ones you mentioned.

I think what you are doing is amazing and I know Samuel will grow to be a strong man fo faith because of your committment and dedication to teaching him and instilling those values in him. Lauren will some day as well. Your a wonderful mom, as well as one strong family unit and that is going to be pivotal in your childrens lives.

More Than Anything said...

I'm a reader that never comments, but I'm trying to delurk.

I was raised Mormon and we spoke of Christ quite often. We sang childrens songs all the time. Songs we learned at primary (kids classes at church). We prayed before every meal. We had Family Home Evening = one day a week for a couple of hours it's nothing but family time, spiritual and fun. We had talks about what was expected of us and what the rules were (be honest, do unto others, etc) all the time. We were encouraged to read our scriptures everyday (when we were old enough).

Now that I'm Catholic and older, I'm glad some of those things my parents taught me, stuck.

I'm sure you'll teach your children everything they need to know. The fact that you think about it and care, says a lot.

cybil said...

I think the example is the most important thing. Recently, we came home when our 22 months old son had been with his babysitter. The toys were very neatly packed away - like always. Only this time, our babysitter told us that this had all been done by our son!!
We do it with him each evening and now he helps a little bit - but he already learnt to do it fully on its own!
I think when children see how we live our daily life with Jesus, how we pray in certain situations, they will learn to trust God with practical things as well.
So I'm not so much into daily family bible readings (which is certainly also nice from time to time, more intoliving our situations in a practical way with God ... praying for health, praying for solutions when problems occur etc.
They will take our example how we deal with people, how we welcome guests, how we deal with problems ...


Becky said...

Unfortunately, I did not grow up in a Christian home so I can't answer your questions. But I am really hoping for godly women to serve as mentors in this area. I aspire to do all the things you mentioned with my children (once we have them!). I would definitely be interested to know what type of things you end up incorporating into your life to teach your children about Jesus.

Stacey said...

My childhood wasn't super stable with an alcoholic father who wasn't home much. We didn't attend church regularly, but my sister and I were taught about Jesus as our mom was also learning about Him and her new life as a believer. She used to read devotionals to us from a book called "Little Visits With God" -- which I have in my possession now.

In grade school I began going to AWANA with my best friend and started memorizing Scripture. I'm so thankful for those years of growing in God's Word! My mom continued to be my main teacher when it came to learning about God and she always welcomed any questions we had (and still does).