As Christians we strive to have that personal relationship with the living Jesus. We know about Jesus, the historical person. We believe that He lives. Yet many of us struggle with knowing Jesus at that intimate, personal level. Like Thomas, we harbor doubts because we can’t see Him or touch Him. Or we are uncertain about how to approach the living Jesus. These are some of the challenges to our faith.
In a FaceBook exchange with a friend, she mentioned the importance of teaching our children while they are young to have that personal relationship. Of course we teach them about Jesus in many ways. There are the Bible stories, Sunday school and for some a Christian education. All of these are important. But none are as important as having their parents living and modeling this personal relationship. Seeing parents in prayer, seeing them act in ways that follow Jesus’ teaching are of critical importance. Teaching our kids to join us is even more important.
This was very strongly reinforced when my granddaughter, Lauren (age 4), asked her dad recently “Can Jesus come over for lunch sometime?” Dining with her friends is a big, important event for Lauren, so this was no idle request.
This became an important learning moment for both Lauren and dad. He explained how Jesus is always with her, but in a different way than her other friends. He also talked a bit about the Holy Spirit and how He helps Lauren to make decisions about the right things to do and what she shouldn’t do.
It’s difficult to understand the depth of a 4-year-old’s understand. The important thing is to meet them where they are. Lauren listened carefully and asked a few questions. She seemed satisfied with the answer and spoke directly to Jesus as He was there with her as she said grace at lunch that day. Undoubtedly, this conversation will happen again as she grows up.
Seeds of faith must be planted and nurtured if they are to grow and be fruitful. Like the mustard seed, Lauren’s parents are raising her and her sister to not only know about Jesus, but to know Him on a very personal intimate level.
Alive in The Word
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