I’m starting a short series on how A Household Gospel might apply in areas unexplored in my book. In the first of the series, I addressed the most asked question, “What about singles?” In this second installment, I will address, “What about infants and children?” Now the book was addressed to families so in many ways I’ve applied much of the books to the parent and child relationship. Something I’ve heard a bit about the book is that many of the application are helpful, but can they really be used for infants and children (let’s say toddlers and below). I want to briefly examine this concern and also encourage parents of infants and young children.
So from the time our children arrive into the world, we are constantly rehearsing something with them. We begin with feeding, nap, and bedtime routines. As they grow, we may start reading stories with them. Simple stories with lots of colorful pictures to hold their attention. We potty train them in the same way. Rehearsing. Rehearsing. Rehearsing.
Most kids at some point starting watching tv and movies. They may start with Little Einstein’s videos. Splashes of color, language, art. Rehearsal of the building blocks for learning. They may start watching some Disney. Once Disney has you hooked, it’s cradle to grave. They lock you in for life with their merchandize, theme parks, and by the time your kids have kids, you’ve started the cycle again. They excel at rehearsing their story.
I say all that to say: don’t over think it. We know instinctively how to rehearse things with infants and children. We do it daily. Find ways to do what you’re already doing--with the gospel. It doesn’t have to be labor intensive. It doesn’t need to be a three point sermon. Why not incorporate a wonderful Bible storybook like The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Bible’s Big Story? On top of that, why not act out stories from the Bible for your kids? Get excited. Get into it. Get lively. Kids love a hero, a damsel in distress, and a dragon. You can also find songs that are fun and that express Biblical truth. Sing them loud and often.
Most importantly find ordinary things in life to have natural conversations about the gospel. Think about when your children scuff their knee. They don’t need medical attention. They mostly want love and your presence. When they are afraid of the dark, all they want is another five minutes of mom and dad in their bedroom. Give your children equally simple doses of the gospel. When you’re children are afraid, rehearse the promises of God. When they are crying and you can’t get them to stop, tell them they are a blessing from God. Simple truths, simply said. Rehearsed over and over from when they are infants until they’re adults--until the gospel stains the very fibers of their heart.
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