Saturday, June 8, 2013

Teaching Your Kids to Follow Jesus

This week, I was in the car with 2 of my kids and for some reason, we were talking about Laney's eyes.  Laney has incredibly dark eyes for her fair skin.  Like darker than some of my Peruvians' eyes.  And the kids are intrigued.  I was explaining to them that the only person in our family I know of with eyes as dark as Laney's was my grandma.  My Grandma Dolores had black eyes that were so pretty and could practically read your soul.  I told them how badly I wished they had known her and how much she would have loved them.  She was one of my favorite people on this planet.  She was strong and opinionated.  She would doubt your decisions until you could show her you had good solid facts and discernment.  Which forced me to be confident in my decisions before I would tell her.  But most importantly, she loved Jesus and knew His Word.  Before she died, letters and cards flooded their living room from people she had the bank where she worked, at church, in Sunday School.  Everyone who knew her knew she was a follower of Christ.  And some of the last words on her lips were Scripture.  Encouragement to us grandkids.  Words telling us she wasn't scared.

As I talked, my 2 boys could feel how much I loved her and could see how passionately she loved God.  My oldest blurted out "Man, I want to know God like that......but I can't".  What?  I always wonder if there's a misunderstanding with an accent or something.  Can or Cannot?  The younger one chimed in as if he knew exactly what Jhonny was thinking.  "Can't".  
He went on to explain that He doesn't think He can know God like that.  Aside from the fact that he sees the Bible as boring (which is a common opinion among young people....and maybe old), when he reads it his days following are terrible!  Hmmmmm, that my son is called spiritual warfare.  So there we sat in the car trying to Spanglish hash out spiritual warfare and how there is a fight for their hearts.  A fight to keep them from being productive for God.  A fight to keep them lazy, or arrogant, or prideful, or self doubting.  Whatever it is to keep your feet in cement.
I'm not entirely sure they understood everything we talked about.  Could be the language.  Could be the teenager-ness.  But I will say they didn't move a muscle.  We sat in the car, even once it hit the garage.  And it has kept me thinking for days.
How do you teach your kids to follow hard after God?  I know a lot of the answers.  You model it.  You take them to church where they're presented with good theology and fellowship.  But is there a need for balance?  Is it possible to cram it too far down their throats?  Is my life demonstrating a real follower of Christ?  Or a church-goer American Christian without fruit or passion?  And how will I know before they're 35?  Not sure I know how to answer all these questions.  But today I'm keenly aware of my need to figure it out!