We can all agree that teaching biblical truths to our children from a young age is important, but sometimes it is just so hard to know where to start. Toddlers—you’ve got to love them! Wild balls of energy with short attention spans and an even shorter ability to sit still. Logic means nothing to them and don’t even start with analogies and metaphors. So how exactly are you supposed to even begin to explain to them the very long, very complex thing that is the Bible?
Leading your child to Christ is a journey. It begins before they asks questions about God—don’t wait for your little to initiate an interest!
So what can we do to help our babies want to follow the Lord and make a lifelong commitment to Him? First, we need to start speaking the identity of Christ into our babies right away—they are a child of God, they are holy and dearly loved, they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Right now, your baby has a question mark on them—who am I? You have the power to answer that question in Christ. While the enemy is telling them lies at a young age of who they is, we must speak truth and build a strong Christian foundation in order for it to stand up to the enemy’s lies. Your littles will be bombarded with images at the grocery store, driving down the street, on television. You must reinforce that they are a child of God; they are made in the image of God. And always pray that God will work in and around your effort as you teach them to know and honor Him.
One book that parents can use as a resource to help teach their children about their identity in Christ is You Are Special by Max Lucado. It shows them how the world may view them and how God views them. Adults can benefit from this book as well!
We must know who we are in Him before we can teach our children about who they are in Him.
We must have a firm foundation of who we are in Christ. When we say that your identity is in Christ, we simply mean “who we are.” Our identity changes at the time of salvation when we become a child of God. It is difficult for us to fully embrace the magnitude of this gift because it stands in contrast to what the world teaches. We have all gone through different events in our lives that has made us question our identity or allowed us to believe lies about who we are. Being a Christian does not mean you are not going to struggle with issues or lies. I personally struggled with the lie of not feeling enough at times but know the truth is what allows us to have freedom in Christ. Freedom is a God gift to every believer that releases us from captivity to live the life God created us to live.
Here are some struggles and lies we face when starting to put down the foundation for the building blocks of faith:
1. Expecting each of our children to respond the same to the gospel: Every child is unique in the way he learns, reacts, and behaves just like adults.
2. Waiting until our children come to us before beginning spiritual training
3. Expecting the church to take responsibility as the spiritual leader of our children
4. Not using the team God has put around our children (grandparents, teachers, neighbors, and Christian friends)
5. Failing to be the godly examples that we should be: Your home is where they have the first opportunity to see who Christ is through you.
6. Using symbolic, churchy, religious terms that don’t make sense to children without explanation: They are concrete learners. For example, saying “Ask Jesus to come into your heart” is confusing. A better phrase would be asking Jesus to be the boss of your life.
7. Not studying the Word ourselves: Our ignorance—we must be informed, knowledgeable, sensitive and wise.
These are all some examples of some stumbling blocks we put in place when trying to build foundations.
Knowing and understanding our own personal relationship with God will help in how we show children were their identity should come from.
We want to start building the foundation on God’s truth while they are preschoolers for them to one day accept God as their Lord and Savior. It is never too late to start speaking truth and blessings over preschoolers to shape their identity in Christ.
Now that we have gone over our identity in Christ and the stumbling blocks that could hurt our foundation we can move onto the building blocks to a strong faith foundation in our preschoolers.