This week is chapter two with “Sharing Jesus with Your Children”. Melissa Falde shares what her husband Nate and she have experienced in raising young children, while living a life of putting Jesus first. This is part of our summer Book & Blog series in “Organic Outreach for Families: Turning Your Home into a Lighthouse.” Each week we read a chapter and hear from various FirstCov’ers. Join us and leave a comment or question below!
“Our part, as parents, is to raise, teach, and love each of our children according to how God has made them.” (p.39)
Seeing the Fruit
Raising up a child to love Jesus is likely the most rewarding “fruit” of all the seeds a parent can plant.
Of all the important life lessons to teach our children: good manners, strong work ethic, and sharp moral compass, knowing that we have set a strong faith foundation for our children is a top priority for our family. Yet, when each child has been created by God with their own individual characteristics, there is not a one size fits all checklist to complete.
Chapter two prompts our hearts to recognize that God has designed each of us in unique ways. As He looks at each of our children as unique and wonderful, so should we as their parents.
Our ultimate goal is to raise children of light in this dark world; however, the steps along the way may have different timelines and even different paths for each child.
“The heart of training is direction and desire: helping a child discover the direction God has called them and teaching them to desire the things that honor God and bring the greatest joy in life.” (p.33)
Our children love bedtime Bible stories, but the lessons don’t just end there. From dawn until dusk, we are weaving the Good News and the stories of real life biblical people into realistic, age-appropriate messages.
Whether it’s the bravery of young David, to standing alone like Noah, or the resilient faith of Esther, we praise God for each and every gift we see within our children. (It’s especially fun to witness them running through the backyard playing “Bible Heroes” as they bring those stories to life in full color).
We share how God has been faithful to us in our blessings, and how He has come near to us in our sorrows. We remind our kids that no one on this Earth is perfect (even, gasp, their parents!) But that God is always right next to them, the most perfect best friend who never leaves their side.
In our home, Jesus isn’t just for Sundays.
While I had been recently giving a good dose of discipline for a repeated misbehavior, I stopped in mid-sentence. It was at that moment that I felt prompted to tell the kids something: if they only remember two words that I ever tell them, remember this: "Jesus First".
Do we parent perfectly ever day? No, but God’s never-ending grace outweighs the gaffes in our parenting playbook.
Chapter two also provides a much needed cue that as parents, studying our children is crucial: knowing them, listening to what they say, and studying what they like and dislike (p. 36). Then, we can fully understand how God has wired each child and how we can help them become the person they were meant to be.
When the world is quick to rip apart, leaving brokenness and wounds, it is through praise and observation that we can raise up hearts filled with light.
How do you share Jesus with your children?
Enjoy chapter 2 this week! (Catch other posts in this series here.)
We all need ideas. We would love to hear how you bring the gospel to your home, specific stories, or even where it fell flat. We are in it together!