Do I, in my life and parenting, point my children to Jesus?
This question haunts me. And God brought it to my mind anew this week as I prepared for a parent-child dedication at our church. After all, our children see all of us — the very best and the very worst. They see our fears, frustrations and sins, and they often reflect them back to us.
So parenting is hard on a good day. And this is especially true when we’re seeking to point our children to Jesus.
Our family is still learning how to proactively, intentionally point our children to Jesus. That said, we have discovered a few tools that have helpfed us in this journey. We hope they can be helpful to you, too.
Without further ado, here’s a book, an app, music and a podcast that have helped us, and I pray they’ll help you, too.
Our kids will likely value and love the same things we value and love.
We own several storybook Bibles, but The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones (Zonderkidz, 2007) is by far the best. The writing is crisp and enjoyable. The artwork is beautiful. And Lloyd-Jones masterfully connects each story — from beginning to end — to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As you read this to your kids at bedtime, your kids will learn not just about individual stories in the Bible, but the full story of the Bible.
“Catechism.” The word sounds scary and intimidating, especially to those who grew up in my corner of Christian evangelicalism. But a catechism is simply a teaching tool to help children (and adults) learn basic biblical and theological tenets of the Christian, and this catechism comes in app form so anyone can use it.
The best part of this app is that it includes song versions of the questions for children. They’re surprisingly catchy; I sang one on and off all day last week.
Slugs and Bugs (AKA musician Randall Goodgame) creates fun-filled, Bible-saturated children’s music. In his series of “Sing the Bible” albums, he puts important Bible verses to music so kids can experience them in a new way. Again, I think I enjoy the songs as much as the kids do. I can no longer read the 10 Commandments without or Deuteronomy 6:4 without hearing Goodgame’s music in my head.
The songs are catchy, fun and thoroughly biblical. You and your kids will benefit from them.
Between the grandparents, social media and friends, everyone has an opinion about how you should parent — and everyone’s opinion seems different. Add in the weight of others’ expectations with the regular ups and downs of parenting, and life can be exhausting.
The Risen Motherhood podcast is dramatically different. Co-hosts Emily Jensen and Laura Wifler seek to apply the grace of the gospel to every parenting situation you encounter. Their words are a breath of fresh air in a stress filled world, and my wife has benefitted tremendously in listening this podcast.
More Than a Tool
These tools can be helpful. But our own faith is the most important element in raising our children to love Jesus. We cannot lead our children well if we are not following Jesus, actively serving the church and living out our faith in our daily lives.
Our kids will likely value and love the same things we value and love. If we want them to value and love Jesus with single-minded devotion, let’s model that for them — and these four tools will be the icing on the cake.
A version of this article originally published at CedarRockBaptist.com. What other tools would you recommend?