The Bug came up to me the other day and she was awkwardly holding a cow (that she named Lamb) in her arms and told me that she was holding her “Lamb” like Jesus does. I thought it was very cute and we talked more about Jesus carrying the Lamb. She asked what Jesus’ lamb was named and I told her “Bug”. Sure, it was an appropriate conversation to have with a 3 year old but it got me thinking about how, as she grows, I want to instill in her the idea of who God and Jesus really are. I was thinking about the images I have of Jesus in our home. Two of them involve a lamb (although I am happy to report He is not blonde in either), one is Him as a baby, one is a dark haired serious face and one is the blonde Jesus magnet that is meaningful to the hubby.
What I don’t have are any examples of the Holy God that has millions of angels flying around Him screaming “Holy, Holy, Holy” and covering their heads and their feet in His presence. I don’t have the images of Him with His robe filling the temple in all of His Glory.
Everything I have that shows God makes Him just like you and me. So, I asked myself, is that my goal? Is that the understanding that I want my Bug to have of God? Yes, I want her to know that Jesus came down from Heaven and walked among us and experienced the life that we live, died and rose from the dead. Yes, I want her to know that He has adopted us and we are His bride but does that tell the whole story of who He is? I like that He is approachable but yet it seems like there is a pretty big piece missing.
Then I turned the questions inward. I am beginning to realize that the “buddy” God that I have created in my head doesn’t serve me well in my faith either. I don’t have time to read my Bible today, that’s okay, “buddy” God won’t mind. I didn’t think to pray today, that’s okay, “buddy” God will talk to me tomorrow. I didn’t consider what He wanted me to do with my money before blowing my paycheck on things that are not necessary, that’s okay, “buddy” God wants me to be happy, right?
Francis Chan talks about the time that John, the disciple that Jesus loved, sees God/Jesus in Heaven and when he saw Him he fell at His feet as dead (Revelation 1: 17). So, let me get this straight, John literally lounged on Jesus while He was on the earth and was as close to Him as possible and when He saw Him in His Glory it made Him fall to the ground as dead?
What will it be like for us?
How do I instill into my precious daughter that Jesus is so much more than a smiling picture who always has a lamb on His shoulders? How do I reform my view of God and Jesus to an accurate one that shows all of His characteristics not just the ones that give me the warm fuzzies?
I think the first step is reading His Word for myself. I have been “grown up” long enough to no longer be spoon fed, but I also need to clear out the things that I had learned in the past and make sure they line up with the Bible. I do this but I haven’t taken it as seriously as I should have. I haven’t read and learned as if I am “working out my salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). My approach to the Holy Scriptures is different now.
I have so much to learn and the more I learn the more I realize how little I know and understand but I am thankful that God is willing to walk with me step by step, disciplining as necessary and providing love and guidance.
So, how do you teach your children about God?