Most Christians are pretty diligent about teaching their children to thank God for His blessings. We train them from a very young age to pray and thank God for food, family, clothing and shelter. Have we trained them though to see God’s spectacular, overflowing blessings? I think many of us are missing a prime opportunity to teach our children the amazing ways God works.
You are probably thinking “She’s crazy. Of course, we teach our children about the amazing ways God works in our lives!” Bear with me, as I share a recent story from our life and the responses we hear from even extremely faithful Christians when we share it.
Rock stars tickle me. They can be the ugliest, mangiest looking guys on earth, but it is obvious they are absolutely convinced they are the best looking guys around! The constant adulation places them in a godlike place in the eyes of themselves and others.
Other than a rock star, movie idol or politician, the headiest job on earth is being the parent of a pre-schooler. Let’s face it, when our kids are that age – we are perfect. Granted, they don’t have a lot to compare us to, but being perfect in someone’s eyes still feels pretty cool.
The main reason our very small children adore us is because we have all of the power and they have none. In their world, we are rock stars because we have the food, clean diapers and warm, loving arms they need and want. Your average, good parents would have no reason or desire to abuse that power by withholding food or clean diapers from their children.
Yet, for many parents, what starts out as a benevolent use of power becomes a power struggle between those same children (now a little older and wiser) and the parents who once nurtured them without question. So what changes?
Did you know God signed his creation? As we talked about in my last post, the Bible tells us God put so much of himself into his creation, that viewing it leaves man no excuse for ignoring God. Did you take your children out into nature? Did you find God there? What qualities of God were you and your children able to find in God’s handiwork?
As I reflected on what I learned about God from looking at the amazing beauty of His creation, I thought of at least five things nature teaches me about God:
Did you know the average child is using technology by the age of two? Our children are constantly bombarded by technology. And with the vast majority of people now living in suburban or urban environments, our children are constantly surrounded by things made by man. It’s no wonder someone recently said to me, they didn’t know where to look for God!
Psalm 19 is a beautiful Psalm. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1 NIV) As important as it is for our children to learn the Bible, it may be even more important for them to learn to see God working in the world around them. Even many Christians are telling our young people God is a distant, dis-interested God. He set the world in motion and I guess they assume is sitting in an easy chair watching us as some giant reality show.
Have you ever watched a child almost dart in front of a car? Anyone and everyone will move heaven and earth to intervene and save the child’s life. No one stops to worry about who is watching the child or what the reaction will be after intervening. All anyone cares about is the immediate intervention needed to save the child from being hit by a car.
In reality, many children in our world are in need of intervention. Not just from abuse, neglect and starvation (although millions need that too). The children of the world need us to intervene so they will not become attached to Satan. Even in our churches most of our children will eventually leave God. Yet, we feel little need to intervene in some way. We assume children will pick up “God” by some sort of osmosis. Even the Church itself often provides parents with little more support than classes once or twice a week and an occasional fun activity.