The Toughest Part of Shepherding Your Child
Q. What has been the most challenging part of teaching your young child about God?
Tiffany Malloy: One night while putting my daughter to bed, I asked her why she thought she was having a hard time controlling her emotional outbursts lately. She sadly said that she didn’t know; that it was really hard for her. I snuggled in closer, and asked if we could pray. About halfway into the prayer, she stopped me.
“Mommy, we don’t have to pray anymore. God has already said no to all of those things that you are saying.”
“Honey, why do you think that?!”
“Because, I have been asking and asking and it’s not any easier to control myself. His answer is no. Mommy, why did He say no?”
I said something about waiting, patience, and using our methods of controlling our emotions. She wasn’t listening really. To her, God had already said no and she wasn’t going to be convinced of anything different. I laid there a little longer, my heart heavy.
These moments have been the most challenging part of teaching my children about God. The times when I have to trust God to be absolutely, unmistakably present to them… where all I can do is wait, pray and watch carefully for His movement.
Susan Heim: The most difficult challenge we’ve faced in educating our children about God has been in setting priorities. Like most families, we have a lot of activities competing for our time — school, homework, sports, Scouts, play dates, birthday parties, meetings and more. Unfortunately, we often fall into the trap of treating worship time as just another item to do, and we let it slip low on our list of priorities. We try to incorporate religious teachings into our everyday activities, such as reminding our kids to treat others as they would like to be treated or talking about ways in which we can help the homeless people we see on the street. But we need to do a better job of spending time in God’s Word. We often forget that seeking God’s wisdom should be our #1 priority, and everything else should follow.
Melissa Newell: The challenge has not been teaching them about God, as our children have been brought up knowing nothing but God, the church, Sunday school and how to be a good person.
The challenge has been making sure they are comfortable in their own skin and being able to talk about their love of God with their peers.
It is slightly easier for our children, as we homeschool them. Teaching about God is our way of everyday life. It’s all around them all the time. I want to ensure that I am raising Godly children who are proud of their beliefs, want to share that with others and will not back down from non-believers. This is the challenge!
Kona Brown: With Godly community, inspired Sunday school teaching and teachers, and diligent Word study and prayer times at home, I’ve seen lots of ways to enrich my children’s faith life and teach them about God and the journey of faith. What has been the most challenging is that I, “chief of sinners”, am called to live out this journey before them, as a living example of the power of Redeption, of how Grace responds, of what Love looks like. This…the ME in this…has been the most challenging part of teaching my young children about God. As a sinful, idolatrous, forgetful grown up, my view of God is often distorted and removed from His true identity. This is often clear in my responses to circumstances and life events, when I lose sight of the fact that regardless of what happens to me, God still sees, He is still in control, He is still loving. Responding to my life and its happenings consistent with this truth, so that my responses assist in shaping a true picture of God for my kids, remains one of my biggest challenges.
Julie Kieras: The most challenging part of teaching my toddler and preschooler about God has been my need to reevaluate my own beliefs and assumptions about my faith. I want to pass down REAL faith to my children, not just “by rote” beliefs based more on tradition than on actual Scripture. While it’s been a challenge to revisit all the tenets of my beliefs, it’s also been refreshing and a growing experience for me. Each time I start to explain a Bible story or truth, or my preschooler asks me a question about God (“If God is in our hearts, is He still in the sun?”) I pause and search my heart to be sure my answers are Bible-based. God is using my children to make my own faith deeper and more real! It reminds me that this is why He called the little children to Him – childlike faith is so true and so earnest. We can all learn from our kids’ faith, I think! I know I am!
Dusty Shell: I’d have to say the most challenging part about teaching my children about God is being consistent in my own walk. It’s so easy in today’s world to reach a point where we don’t keep God first. Even more so, it’s hard to make sure that even if God is first in our minds, we SHOW our children that with our actions as well. Distractions are constantly available and the pace of life is busy, busy, busy. I really want to strive to not only SAY that I love God with all of my heart, mind, and soul, but to SHOW that I do. Children are very observant and take in everything. I want my own children to remember that Mommy was ever ready to get on her knees and turn to the Lord.
Thank you, Mom Mentors! Learn more about them here. We also would love to hear about your experience, too!