Last week, my friend told us something really amazing she was doing to encourage her son’s curiosity in the Bible.
Every morning, she and her 8 year old read a small section of Psalms. Then, he creates a drawing of it. Section by section, he’s illustrated what he thinks about when he reads a section of Psalms.
A normal Christian parent would hear that idea and probably think to themselves:
“That is beautiful. What a great idea! Such a perfect way to explore the Bible and young faith creatively. We should try something like that with our own kids.”
Instead, since I am not normal, after internally hoping they had good crayons and not those knock off “prangs” that will never last through the length of Psalm 119, here is what I thought:
“I am completely bombing my kid’s spiritual upbringing.”
It takes a unique potpourri of neuroses to interpret someone else’s success as your own failure, but there I am. Having heard that idea, I immediately jumped to a small degree of parental panic. Here’s the conversation as a Christian parent you often have with yourself:
“I’ve got to raise my game. Get this kid reading the Bible or coloring Bible stories or something. We are not doing enough in our house.”
“On the other hand, we don’t want to push too hard. I know way too many people who couldn’t wait to run away from the church they had forced on them. Be cool, Jon, be cool.”
“But aren’t there a lot of verses that talk about the need for the parent to raise their kids up in strong Christian homes? Spare the rod, spoil the child? A penny saved is a penny earned? I believe the children are the future?”
“Did I just quote Ben Franklin and Whitney Houston while thinking about the Bible?”
“I am the worst parent ever.”
If you’ve never had this type of conversation with yourself as a parent, then you and I are very different. I had it just the other night when I leaned in to prayer with my five year old McRae and she said, “Mom already prayed.” She then proceeded to put both of her little hands over my mouth to physically prevent an additional and apparently in her mind, unnecessary prayer from being uttered.
I am the worst parent ever.
How about you? How are you making God part of your family life? Did your parents teach you about God?