I put a lot of pressure on myself as a parent. See, I take my job very seriously, and as a recovering perfectionist, I think I need to teach them perfectly, not missing a moment. I have been discouraged that the churches are still closed in NJ to COVID-19. I want to go somewhere away from the distractions of our home to worship God with my husband. And I want my kids to go to Sunday school and experience God through their usual Bible stories, crafts, and activities. I know these are all things we can do and should do, at home. But my kids (as I learned during the “forced homeschooling of 2020”) often listen better to someone else. And they listen better in a distraction-free environment (if such a thing exists!).
At Home Sunday School
We do our makeshift Sunday school at home each week and it is far from perfect, but I think they are perfectly absorbing the lessons God has for them. We start with a Bible lesson outline sent by our church. Then we finish by watching their favorite Bible cartoons on YouTube. Last week, we did the lesson of the paralyzed man by the pool of Bethesda in John 5. We talked about how Jesus performed a miracle when he healed the man that had been waiting by the pool for 38 years. Then I asked them about times they saw a miracle happen, or Jesus helping them in their own lives.
Children’s’ honest, unfiltered answers about God always fill me with such hope and joy. My five-year-old said he experienced a miracle when God healed him from his tree nut allergies. And my 7-year-old felt God’s presence when He “helped me with my worries.” Then there is my precious 3-year-old who has never met a stranger and every friend is a “best friend”, he told me that he knows God is with Him because “God gives me so many friends.”
Keep It Organic
You see, I am learning that we don’t need formal, perfect Sunday school moments to teach our kids about God. We don’t even need to set-up a makeshift Sunday school to get the moment right either. The best moments to share Christ with your kids happen organically. God will plant the seed in your mind and all you have to do is open your mouth.
The other day, we were sitting on the front step just watching the cars go by and I told them how much I loved them and then it just came out. I followed with, “But Jesus loves you more. The God of the universe sent His son, Jesus, to Earth so that when He died and rose again you would be saved to live with Him forever in Heaven.” That was it. Just two sentences. No craft, no game, no YouTube Bible story, but I know they were engaged and thinking. And the more we seize the opportunity to remind them, the more it will be ingrained into their minds.
So, if you’re like me, where you’re discouraged you had to both teach first-grade math, and clean up after their messes, and never get a break, AND make sure they are filling up their faith buckets too…take heart. Don’t overcomplicate it. Keep it simple. They are ready and willing to listen, engage, and share about God’s presence in their lives. And they don’t need a Vacation Bible school 3-hour lesson and fanfare. They just need you.