Yesterday, I gave each child a third of some glorified silly putty I bought for Lee awhile back. They played with it and I talked. Maybe they liked playing with the silly putty (I told them they could only play with it when we were talking about the Bible), or maybe they just wanted to postpone the beginning of school. (I don’t do Bible as part of school.) In any case, they asked for more, and I was surprised how excited they were about playing with that putty! I gave them three challenges.
- I asked them if they knew what the most important commands were in the Bible. (I figured they wouldn’t know this)
- I asked them if they could find a place where someone wanted to know why we needed to be born again. (Bethel and David both went to John 3– I want them to feel successful at using their Bibles, so I asked them a challenge I knew they could get.)
- I asked them if they could find a place where the Bible tells us something to think about. (Bethel went to Phil 4:8 and then Psalm 1. I sent David to Psalm 119 and he found a few verses in that chapter.)
- We also read Psalm 103 together, and I asked them if they could find some verses that might help a child who was afraid that God was always mad at him.
Sometimes as I listen in church or read my Bible, I think “Oh, that would be a good verse for my children.” On Sunday I had a whole bunch, all at once, so I had to write them down. On Monday, I really wanted them to get the most important command– love the Lord your God with all heart soul and mind– because of its importance to salvation. For a child who is pretty good at being good– helpful and kind, obedient, listens in Sunday school, really, every teacher’s dream child– he needs to know that without salvation, he is breaking God’s most important command. I want to communicate that being good might assuage our guilty feelings, but it isn’t salvation. I also wanted to balance the command, with an understanding of God’s love and mercy. That’s why we read Psalm 103.
(Btw, I had a good followup conversation in private. I really want salvation conversations to be serious and pleasant, but not oppressive. We are on the same team with our children!)
I have a feeling I’ll be asked to have another silly putty conversation today.