I'm going to tell this week's story backwards . . .after children's church one of the kids came up to me and said that he wanted to get baptized, so I told him we should talk to his mom about it. She was there to pick him up and he went over to tell her while I got the rest of the kids off to Sunday School. When it was just the three of us in the Chapel foyer, Connor said that he wanted to get baptized and I asked him if he knew what that meant. He said something about getting your sins forgiven and living for Jesus. I then explained to him that we ask Jesus to forgive our sins first, then we get baptized to show our church family about our decision to follow Jesus.
We talked about what sin is, and how Jesus is the only one who can forgive our sins. Connor admitted that he has sinned (against mom, but not dad:-). I told him he could pray and ask God to forgive his sins and make him a child of God right then or he could wait and think about it. At first he said he wanted to wait, but then (on his own) he decided he was ready! Praise the Lord! We prayed, mom and I cried and heaven had a celebration! So you may be in for a baptism next Sunday!
Connor has been coming to Grace since he was a baby. When he was a shy toddler and wasn't too excited about mom leaving him in the nursery and two year old class, Mom was consistent (and those teachers loved him). Mom stuck with him and with the importance of him being in church. Over the years, it has been a joy to watch Connor grow. He's now a first grader and super involved with the Grace Kids! He loves to be here and he's a joy to have around!
Connor has seen his mom and dad be faithful, he's talked about God with them at home, he's heard them pray, he's seen them love and serve others in Jesus' name. Connor's parents would probably tell you that they're not perfect and they haven't done everything exactly right...but let me tell you what they have done right - They have loved Jesus and Connor has seen that!
What a perfect way to end a day where our children's church lesson was on Elijah and Elisha from 2 Kings 2.1-14. We acted out the story and learned that just as Elisha had learned to be a man of God by following Elijah, we can look for godly people to show us how to be people of God.
Of course, you are the number one person that your child is learning from! This will always be true. I also trust that there are others in their lives who are pointing them to Jesus and teaching them to serve, give, love, pray and read their Bibles; but YOU will always be the number one influencer of your children. Don't ever let "the world" tell you otherwise!
Here are some things to talk about this week as we continue to explore this story:
Read the scripture together and talk about what you learn from it.
Tell your children about the people who have helped you followed Jesus.
Ask the kids things that they have learned from you and others about following Jesus.
Remind the kids that other people are looking at their lives too and that they are not just followers, but they are also leaders who can point people to Jesus.
Here's one last interesting thought from Highlights Magazine: "Three out of four kids said that they get to spend enough time with their family, but about 25% would like more time. Slightly more children ages 9 to 12 want more time with their parents than kids ages 5 to 8."
Note that: Even though the your kids are growing up, they're not out-growing you!
Okay, enough of my ramblings! Keep on loving your kids and don't be afraid to talk with them about God stuff. They don't care if you know all the answers! Remember that your heavenly Father loves you perfectly and is more than willing to give wisdom if you ask!