When do you start teaching your kids about God?
I know, I know. NOW. I’ve heard that answer from every good Christian woman ever to raise a child. And of course it’s right. Teach them from the moment you hold them and never stop.
But that’s proven harder in practice than in theory. Teaching infants about God isn’t easy for a teacher who likes desks.
In the past few years I’ve struggled at being a mom to babies. It’s been a joy, but a challenge. I have a hard time knowing what to do with my infants. I’m a teacher—it’s at the core of who I am—but a big kids teacher. I like it when my “students” can speak.
I want to take my girls on walks and identify the trees we pass. I want to collect bugs and label their body parts. I want to read books and talk about why they are the way they are. And I want to talk about God and what He’s done and what He’s doing.
That’s hard with a one year old.
But just recently my daughter turned two, and last night I realized the parenting paradigm had finally shifted in my favor.
Last night I told London stories. Story after story, all in a row. All of them about God.
We were in the car and I was thinking about how I’d like to take advantage of car time more often and so I started talking, asking London questions. I asked her if she’d like me to tell her a story. She said yes and I prepared to be ignored after 30 seconds.
But 2 minutes into my story about God and His friend Enoch, London was laughing. When I finished she said, “More!” And so I told her a story about Jesus and (per her request) a baby horse.
As I told London about the people cheering as Jesus rode into Jerusalem she started waving her hands and yelling “Jesus!” “Hosanna!”
I’m crying right now.
I have been waiting, aching to communicate this way with my daughter—to use words (not just actions or pictures) to describe Who God is and the way He loves.
Later, when I told her about the shepherd who went looking for a little lost sheep, she said “Oh no!” when the little sheep found herself all alone. And then, when the shepherd found the sheep, she interrupted me with “Happy! Happy! Happy!”
I wouldn’t be surprised if I spent the next sixteen years telling London stories about God. Non-stop. No lunch breaks. I’ve only tasted the joy it brings. And it’s better than just about anything else.
I am introducing my daughter to our father.