As a hand-raising, Jesus-praising Mama of two, I know that a full, satisfied and abundant life is found in Jesus. Generally speaking, I am pretty relaxed about the path my kids choose, but when it comes to God, I really don’t want them to miss out on His incredible love or the plans He has for them. It’s not easy to find Jesus in all the noise of today’s world, and you certainly can’t make someone fall in love! So here is my plan, to help my kids find God!
1. I am going to acknowledge their questions even if it makes my head spin.
Our faith doesn’t always fit with common thinking – so if my kids need to hunt out answers I am going to be patient and help them look. In our house questions and independent thinking will be celebrated. If they need to wrap their heads around dinosaurs or the age of the earth or figure out why bad things happen to good people, they are free to research, enquire and question away – and if they need my help, we will look together.
2. I am going to tell stories.
Lots of stories. I am going to tell them our story, of how the Holy Spirit spoke and rescued my boy when medicine would have unknowingly terminated him, of how in our scariest moments God stood by us, and the moments of absolute joy we have shared as a family adventuring in life with Jesus. I’m going to tell them faith stories from Janet down the road, to Bob in the café and from people on the other side of the earth. I am going to make it my mission to share God’s story of relentless pursuit for His Children, of how He creates and sustains everything, of how His grace can defeat shame and of His never ending love for them.
3. I am going to expect God to do incredible things in the life of my kids.
When my kids are in chaos and everything is turmoil, I am going to be the mum that says, “Seriously, watch this space, anytime now we are going to see God do something incredible.” And He will, and when He does, I’m going to thank Him for taking the time to plant my kids even when it felt like they were being buried.
4. I am going to be responsive.
When my kids come to me with concerns or fears or failures, I am going to grab every opportunity to point them to Jesus. And when they celebrate victories and triumphs I am going to celebrate His faithfulness and work in their lives too.
5. I am going to introduce them to Jesus.
I am doing away with fuzzy perceptions of an old man with a beard, who looks a bit like Santa Claus dressed in white, sat on a cloud playing a harp. Nor am I going present God as a rule book or code of conduct. And we are not reducing Jesus either, to a historical figure who made waves. Jesus will be present in our home. We will talk to Him and about Him and invest time in hearing what he has to say. The name of Jesus will be spoken just as much, if not more, than all of the other really important words like, “I love you” and “coffee please” and “I mean it this time, stay in bed!”
6. I am going to make sure that my heart is full of Jesus.
Because most days numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 will seem completely overwhelming. Because often I will forget to pursue wisdom, or I will react to my kids behaviour instead of responding to their needs, or because I will push aside the faith stories and freak out at the size of the storm. Because I will lack in all of these things I set out to do, I will fill my heart with Jesus who is wholly sufficient. When I read Paul saying to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” I know that filling my heart with Jesus is the biggest example and gift I could ever give my children.
Marina Magdalena is the host of the ‘Mum Show’ on GOD TV and Founder of The Promise Collective. The Mum Show airs on GOD TV on Mondays at 9pm. It is produced by the Promise Collective, founded by Marina Magdalena and features child therapist, Emma Browne and Life Church leader, Clare Hooper. Click to watch the Mum Show now on demand.