As previously mentioned, I tend to overthink things. So it should not surprise me when I contemplate how to talk to my kids about God and what exactly to say. I feel strongly that as a parent it’s primarily my job to not just tell, but show my kids what it means to walk with God in life. I don’t believe this task can be outsourced to the professionals at a church (though I live in deep gratitude for what they do with the kiddos each Sunday morning as it really helps provide a jumping off point to conversation).
However, in my desire to do things “right” or “well” I tend to avoid them until it’s perfected. So my conversations with my kids about God have been limited. It’s not so much that I don’t know what to say about God but rather I’m dumbfounded at what they can understand. I require a child development course prior to participating in children’s ministry.
But last night, as H Boy and I ended our prayers, I began to wonder what all he understood about our rituals. We always end our prayers with, “And tomorrow help me be more like Jesus.” So I asked H if he knew what Jesus was like.
“Oh, okay. Well… Jesus is kind.”
“Um, well, he’s nice to people. He thinks of other people first.”
I’m not really okay with beginning our understanding of God with making Jesus the Good Boy, but in all honesty, I’m not sure where to start. I don’t want H to go to church and tip over tables because he wants to be more like Jesus.
So I told H that Jesus lived inside him. He liked that.
“Jesus lives in you. He’s in your heart.”
“Jesus is here in my leg. He’ll help me to be a big boy.”
“Well, where else does Jesus live?”
“In my belly.”
The best I could do was remind him that because Jesus lived in him, when there were times that H didn’t know how to be like Jesus, Jesus could show him.
Give me teenagers over 3-year-olds any day.