In the days leading up to Easter, I prayed that my boys would know the true meaning of Easter. I love the family time, egg hunts, and egg dying parts of Easter, but truly, my heart’s deepest desire is for my boys to know that Easter is more than just a Sunday that I convince them to wear bowties on.
And so, as I prayed this prayer, I felt the Lord saying to me, “If you want your boys to know the true meaning of Easter, then live it out even after the holiday has passed.”
Really, this should be common sense, but the Lord knows that I need help with “common sense” things a lot of the times (I’m so thankful that He loves me enough to do this). Think about it with me, if we make huge deals out of Easter and Christmas (which I’m totally not against), & we spend lots of time talking about Jesus for those holidays, but after, we keep going on with our busy lives, maybe mentioning Jesus on Sundays, but then that’s it, what will our children think? Are Jesus’ birth, death, and Resurrection really that big of a deal to us personally if we only talk about them twice a year?
I think that most of you would agree with me- Jesus’ birth, death, and Resurrection really are a big deal to us. I’ve based my life on Jesus, because He is worthy. And I think that most of you would also agree that your biggest prayer for your children is that they would base their lives on Jesus too. So, can I encourage you with what the Lord is encouraging me with? Live out Easter in your “real life”, even after the pretty dresses have been put away and all of the eggs have been found. Talk about Jesus today, the next day, and every day after that.
But, the next question is how? Maybe you have young children like me, and it could be easy to believe that you should wait until they’re older to talk to them about Jesus. Which, honestly, is the furthest thing from the truth. As I am seeing my almost four year old have the ability to learn the Easter story and catechisms, I am becoming more sure that it’s never too early to start pouring Jesus into your children. So, how do you do it? Here’s a few things that have worked for our family (& let me reiterate- I am NOT perfect. I don’t have it all together. These are things we’ve just figured out along the way by the grace of God.):
- Use creation to point to the Creator. My boys LOVE being outside. They were begging me to go out and play by 8 this morning. The outdoors are a great and simple way to point to God, because after all, He created all of it. The bugs, the trees, the mountains, all of it, were created by Him, and so as our kids admire creation or ask a million questions about it, we can remind them of the One who created it.
- Let your children see you studying Scripture. Ideally, we get to have our quiet times actually in the quiet, but we all know that doesn’t always happen. There are days when I don’t get my quiet time done while my boys are napping, and I used to see this as a reason to just simply not do it. But the Lord is changing my mind on this. Instead, He’s helping me see that this can be a blessing, because then I can study His Word while my boys play or watch TV. And it’s not that we should do this to show off to our children, but I believe that it speak volumes to our children to see us living out our walk with Jesus, instead of just talking about it.
- Plug your family into the local church. I could go on and on about this. The local church is a gift from the Lord; ours has already been so valuable in joining with us in discipling our boys (For more thoughts on this, click here).
- Read books and sing songs together that are focused on Christ. I recently wrote a blog with a lot of my favorite resources for this (find that here) What I love about these things is that they’ve been starting points for other questions and conversations.
- Use every day moments to point to Jesus. Are your children scared? Hurt? Did they have an awesome day? Or a bad one? A lot of every day situations that with our children can be used to direct conversations to the Lord. If they’re scared, remind them that God is with them. If they’re hurt, you can teach them that God is healer. If they had a great day, you can teach them to thank the Lord. Or if they had a bad day, remind them that God is good even in those days too.
Sweet friends, I am not perfect at this. There are moments that I miss and moments that I mess up. You won’t be perfect either. The Lord doesn’t call us to be perfect parents. He knows that we miss the mark of perfection, which is why He sent Jesus and why we have Easter in the first place. If you’re in Christ, the Father sees you as righteous, so there’s no need to strive in your motherhood. There’s no need to condemn yourself on the days that you blow it. There’s only a need to repent, and then rest in the fact that you’re covered in the blood of Christ and your debt has been paid in full.
And speaking of messing up, that’s another way that we can point our kids to Christ. We can remind our children that we were once dead in our sins, but now we have been made alive by the grace of Jesus. We can use our mess ups as opportunities to teach our children about our need to be forgiven too.
I’ll leave you with these two encouragements that the Lord has been blessing me with lately. First, we have freedom in Christ. This means that while your family might read Scripture together every night, but mine uses our lunch times to focus on Christ, that is okay. The Bible calls us to disciple our children, but the way that we flesh that out is going to be different. Not only is that okay, but it’s wonderful. The Lord has gifted us each differently for His kingdom. Instead of comparing or wrongfully judging, let’s spur one another on to good deeds and celebrate how the Lord is working in each of our families. Second, if we are walking with Christ in our own personal lives, living out Easter and talking about Jesus in the day to day will just be a natural outflow. We don’t have to follow a formula or have fancy hour long family devotions to teach our kids about Jesus. Simply seek first the Kingdom, and allow Jesus to take care of the rest.
So, I don’t want you to leave here feeling more pressure about this whole parenting gig. There’s enough of that out there in internet land. I want you to leave here today encouraged to make Jesus a normal part of your day with your children. I want you to leave here celebrating that there is freedom in Christ for us to all live this out in our parenting a little differently. I want you to leave here resting in His grace. I want you to leave here knowing that you’re not alone; this mama is right there with you, trying to figure out this parenting thing and how to teach my kids about Jesus as I go too.
How about you? What are things that you do to teach your children about Jesus? I always love hearing what other families are doing for the glory of God!
Happy day after Easter, friends! Continue celebrating the Resurrection!