If there is ever a holiday to be redundant, Easter is it. I am not talking about bunnies, baskets, eggs, or candy, although the Fleming household has had its fair share of all that and more. I am talking about Jesus. Introducing our kids to Jesus is the most important thing we as parents can do for them. The days leading up to Easter offer intentional focus for families to consider the love of Christ and His power over death. We read the stories about Jesus’ life and ministry, we sing songs, we make crafts, and we have meaningful conversations about our God who saves.
Sharing the Faith With our Kids
This particular Easter haunts me, though. Maybe all Christian moms go through this. I am not sure. I remember my first year as a school teacher when a seasoned teacher once said, “Teaching isn’t telling.” How true this is. I believe the same applies to how we share our faith with our children. This Easter I was reminded of this truth, and how it’s not about my kids getting the gospel right, it’s really about the transformation of their hearts.
My Greatest Concern
My greatest concern as a mom is not that they will get the gospel wrong, but that they will get it right without it getting into them. This is a Holy Spirit thing. As much as I want to protect my children from danger and physical harm, even more I want them to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. But just as I cannot keep them from hurt I cannot spiritually save them either. That is in the Lord’s hands. Sure, I am responsible for training my kids in the knowledge of God’s Word and what it means to know Christ, but I cannot change their hearts. Only God can do that.
Here’s the thing. I do not want to raise “goody goody” Christian PKs who know the answers to all of the Bible questions and memorize their weekly Bible verses so that they can get a star by their names every week in Sunday School. The danger for me as their mom is to see this outward display of devotion and be fooled to think that they have a relationship with Jesus. They may, but they may not.
It is not so much that my kids know that there is a Savior, but that they need a Savior.
I want my kids to know that Jesus loves them, but knowing about His love is not enough. They need to know their need. They need to be sorry over sin, not over getting caught by mom or dad, teachers, or church members. They need to see a Savior’s arms outstretched on an old, rugged, cross for them, because of them. They need to know that apart from Christ’s death and resurrection they are utterly lost.
So this Easter I am soberly reminded not only of my children’s need for a Savior, but of my own need as well. I need Him to save me from my temptation to control my kids. I need Him to save me from relying on my own strength rather than His. I need Him to save me from the fear of my kids’ rebellion. I need Him to remind me that a mother’s prayers mean something and that He is gentle with me and also mighty to save.
“The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear Him; He also hears their cry and saves them” Psalm 145:18-19