You don’t need another curriculum focused on teaching children about Jesus. What your children really need to hear is what God has done in your life yesterday and today. The God of the Bible is a living God who acts in the lives of his people right now, not just 2000 years ago. If all you do is read Bible stories, how will your children recognize the unchangeable living God of today?
Your life teaches your children about Jesus
In Matt. 22:37, Jesus replied to the Pharisees from Deut. 6:4-7, “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord Our God is the only Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your mind and heart and with your entire being and with all your might. And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be first in your own minds and hearts; then you shall whet and sharpen them so as to make them penetrate, and teach and impress them diligently upon the minds and hearts of your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.’”Ampl. Bible
The greatest commandment is not just to love God with all that we are. It also says that His words should penetrate us so deeply and fully that we are a living testimony to our children. We are so full of our love for Him, that we can’t help but talk about Him all the time! The Bible is so ingrained in our minds and hearts, that we are able to share appropriate passages with them as they are applicable in our daily lives.
You cannot underestimate the power of sharing your daily testimony with your children. If our relationship with Jesus Christ changes us forever, then we need to allow Christ to use us to draw our children into a transformational relationship also.
Consequences of not following the Greatest Commandment
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Judges 2:10
God told the Israelites to remember all that he had done for them and tell their children about how he had rescued them and done marvelous wonders. But, they didn’t do those things and the children went after the gods of the people who lived around them. This sounds so familiar to me, it breaks my heart.
Countless young people are leaving the church. These are children who grew up on Bible stories, grew up going to church and youth group. Why are they leaving? They don’t see how Jesus is relevant in their lives. They have never experienced the power of their parents’ daily personal testimony!
Bible stories are not enough!
Our sin nature shows how much we need Jesus
As we teach and disciple our children, we blow it sometimes. Sometimes our lives are not a testimony of Christ’s love and transforming power, but rather our struggle with sin. But, Christ reminds us that all we need is Him, not a checklist, not rules. We follow a gracious and merciful King. He can use our bumbling to show our children how we need Him every moment and why they need him, too.
Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet for your souls. For my yoke is useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant—and my burden is light and easy to be borne. Matt. 11:28-30, Ampl. Bible
The importance of a Christian community
Imagine the impact of many parents giving testimony of how God has been working in their lives! Imagine the impact on your own faith. I know that hearing other women talk about their struggles and how the Lord moved mightily in their lives has impacted me. These stories strengthen and encourage me. Don’t you think that your children would benefit just as much?
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Heb. 10:24 NIV
And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. Galatians 6:9 Ampl. Bible
How has your view on teaching children about Jesus changed? What will you do differently today?