Family Organic Outreach (ch.2): Sharing Jesus with Your Children

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!

 

4 Responses

  1. While children have grown up and left the nest years ago, I now have grandkids with whom I love to spend time teaching about Jesus with. We talk often about Jesus with our 9 year old grandson who will be spending a lot of time with us this summer. One more thing that he and I talked about is doing Bible Scripture look up races with friends. He seems open to this also. Now I just need to ask his friends. I bought him his own Bible - David Jeremiah's illustrated children's Bible and have taught him how to look up passages of Scripture which he loves to do. I also bought him a book entitled, Exploring The Roots And Shoots Of Faith - The Radical Book For Kids written by Champ Thornton. It's a wonderful book filled with stories, recipes, and games that help bring the Bible alive by engaging their minds. He even chooses both for bedtime reading. In fact, when he was here a couple of nights ago he chose both and wanted to look up each Scripture referenced in the story to read it aloud to me. He is so open and his mind is engaged in an active way. This just makes my heart happy - and Jesus too. Every night before he goes to sleep I sing Jesus Loves Me and Jesus Loves The Little Children to him after we pray. He will not go to bed without it. Grandparents, you too can have an influence for Jesus in your grandchildren's lives!
    • Melissa Falde
      Nancy, What a great reminder of the influence that Grandparents have in a child's life! It sounds like you have had a great impact on your grandkids, and their eternal perspective is being instilled at a wonderfully young age. A living relationship with Jesus changes everything, for the young and the young at heart. I imagine that while you are blessing your grandkids, you, in turn are also blessed along the way. Thank you for sharing your examples and insight for the Summer Book & Blog! Melissa
  2. A real neglected opportunity is just to find five minutes a few times a day to teach, talk, pray, and sing. We have a variety of resources we have vetted that are both very sound, but accessible. I do try to teach big words and not dumb down for the oldest but recognize the youngest won’t understand it, Sometimes breakfast, lunch or dinner after prayers can be a great time to read a Psalm, or read one of the many kids Bibles we have, or listen to some VBS, or catechism music. The teaching goes hand in hand with how we are seeking to live our lives. And often I’m reminded of my need for Him, simply by taking to the kids about what we are reviewing. Our kids won’t believe our faith is the most important thing if we don’t make it the most important thing! On our best days with our oldest being six years of age we maybe spend 15 minutes in family worship but 10-15 minuets a day really can add up. We are trying to fill the bucket with a few more drips each day. One of the sweetest things is find your little kids taking Bibles and “reading” to themselves about Jesus, and mimicking what they hear..sometimes a bit different then you shared! A few resources we use; https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Should-Kenneth-Taylor-Paperback/dp/B00OVOTNDQ https://www.thegoodbook.com/daily-devotional-reading/beginning-with-god/beginning-with-god-the-collection https://www.wtsbooks.com/the-ology-marty-machowski-9781942572282 http://newcitycatechism.com/ ( has songs on YouTube, plus simple 52 question book) https://songsforsaplings.com/ ( songs to historic catechisms of the faith) http://breathebible.com/one-year-podcast/ ( neat way to listen to Bible) https://www.theopresents.com/ ( neat dvd series)
    • Pastor Brian
      Good point Nick. Sometimes in the goal to do "the best" we miss the "can do" that God can multiply into so much more. Good reminder here...Thanks!

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