Joy with Jesus teaching – Teaching the basics of Christian belief (Part 1)
Over the next few issues we want to take a look at how we can teach the basics of our Christian faith to our children. Rather than considering a specific lesson plan or series of teachings, we want to talk about the REALITY of sharing our faith with these little ones from an early age, and on a day to day basis. Anyone who has raised children knows that their attention span is short and we must look for teachable moments if we truly want to be effective. No matter how much we want to teach them something, if they are not really interested at that moment, it will be in vain. Yet if we can recognize a teachable moment when they are truly interested and WANTING to learn, we find that they commit it to memory and in fact often repeat it endlessly in subsequent days.
A good example of this happened to me recently when we were taking a walk along a country road with our twin grandchildren soon to turn 3 years old. We passed a recently squashed rabbit in the road, which captivated little Levi’s attention. Rather than try to shield him from the sadness of the unpleasant sight, we saw it as a perfect opportunity to point out what can happen if we go into the road without our parents! Although we only talked about it for a short time that day, it had a resounding effect on Levi, who repeatedly brought up the subject of the “dead bunny in the road” for weeks afterwards! As we continually went over the facts, we were able to cover a lot of topics in addition to the dangers of the road, such as: life and death; the fact that animals (and pets) live shorter lives than humans and so we get to enjoy many different pets during our lifetime; and of course how important it is to obey our parents. Levi has repeated key phrases and also asked further questions on multiple occasions since then and so is obviously processing this information, which will be a good basis to explain more about life and death etc. in the future. So as we move into this short new series, we hope you will find it useful as you start to lay a good Christian foundation in the lives of the children you love and minister to.