As most of you know, I have three daughters. These girls are creative, fun, and energetic… but I cannot say that tidy is an adjective I would use to describe them.
Yesterday I walked by their room and noticed how nice and clean it looked, so naturally I complimented them on it.
My eight-year-old responded, “Yeah, you know how yesterday you told us we should just put our toys away when we are done playing with them. Well, that really made sense.”
I smiled and reaffirmed that their room looked nice, but on the inside, I was like, WAIT a minute. I know I have told you that before. Many times, before. But for whatever reason, it clicked yesterday. Thank God it clicked, but why then? Why didn’t it click the first, the second, the hundredth time I said it?
I’ll never know, but what I do know is my daughter needed a standard reinforced repeatedly for eight years before it made sense to her.
I think I needed that realization. Two weeks ago, I was teaching in Kid’s Ministry and my thought was, Great Parting the Red Sea AGAIN! It didn’t stop there. Why are we always teaching the same stories… Creation… the Fall…Noah’s Ark…Parting the Red Sea… Elijah and the Prophets of Baal… Jesus and the Parables. As I thought about it in that moment, I realize it was a new group of kids, or at least the older kids were younger the last time they heard this story with a different lesson.
But as I apply this little lesson with my daughter above, it is so much deeper than that. Our kids need to hear these stories over and over again, because one day it will click. It probably didn’t click for 90% of the kids when they heard it the first time, or the second time, but eventually it will click.
We are planting seeds.
We cannot make those seeds grow.
But we can nurture them, give them the right conditions to grow, and continue to sow more and more seeds while we pray for the harvest.
While we typically use this analogy with faith, it is true for all aspects of life. If you want to teach your child something you must do it with words, actions, reinforcement, and modeling what you’ve taught. It’s called parenting.
When we do this with faith, we also have to use words, actions, reinforcement and modeling. It’s called discipleship.
Parents, do you realize that parenting and discipleship are the same job?
As a Christian parent, your job is teaching your kids about the love of Jesus. It is discipleship. We must point our kids to Jesus in word, actions, and reinforce that faith daily.
It will not click immediately. It will not click on your timing. But rest assured that you are doing the work of the ministry.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).”