by Gloria Furman
A reader named Chasity wrote us an email and asked about pointing preschoolers to Jesus:
“I recently found your blog and have been greatly encouraged. I have a question regarding the mundane-ness of days at home. I have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, and when we have full days at home, we all seem to be bored and I seem to lack vision. What do you ‘do’ with your children during the days?
Sometimes I try to do little crafts or play games, but it seems there must be more to pointing my children to Christ. Would you mind sharing some ideas on how to fruitfully and purposefully fill the day?”
Those are fantastic questions, aren’t they?
I asked several moms to briefly answer Chasity’s questions so that I could post their replies here on Domestic Kingdom. As the replies are published (scattered over the next several weeks) then I’ll link them together at the bottom of each post in an index and tag them: “pointing preschoolers to Jesus.”
When the replies to Chasity’s questions started popping into my inbox I couldn’t help but smile at the similarity of the answers. The simplicity of the gospel of grace just lifts my heart!
I think these answers will make you smile, too. In the plurality of replies there were several important things that rose to the surface:
1 – Honesty. Nobody is pretending that parenting young children is easy. These moms humbly share their struggles and demonstrate the matchless trustworthiness of Christ.
2 – Joy. A mother’s cheerful confidence as she parents is rooted in the fact that salvation belongs to the Lord. We can happily depend on the Holy Spirit to do what only he can do as we faithfully fulfill our calling with the strength God provides.
3 – Grace. In each example of pointing preschoolers to Jesus these moms are not merely relaying information to their kids. They are identifying with their children as fellow sinners in need of grace. They’re clinging to God’s amazing, indomitable grace in the gospel while their kids get to listen and watch.
In the upcoming posts in this series we’ll get to hear from Jessica Thompson, Kimm Crandall, Melanie Yong, Trillia Newbell, Priya Samuel, Kristie Anyabwile, and others.
Here is my own answer to Chasity’s questions…
Chasity, I totally resonate with your questions. We started this blog because we wanted to learn how to treasure the distinctly Christian hope of the gospel in the midst of the mundane.
The first thing I think about when I hear “pointing preschoolers to Jesus” is that I am just like my preschoolers. I always need to be pointed to Jesus! What is consistently obvious every single day– in acute boredom or creative excitement– is that we always need Jesus.
I also have young kids (5 yrs, 3 yrs, & 18 mos). Honestly, most days I just try to convince them to not kill each other because Jesus came to give us life (John 10:10). That counts for pointing my preschoolers to Christ, right? ☺
You can read about one occasion where a conversation I started was punctuated with one child climbing into the refrigerator and the other child dissolving into a sulking, hot mess. Sometimes I have great conversations with my kids about Jesus and they’re receptive and engaged; other times they’re more interested in My Little Pony. I can relate.
I think the simplest thing you can do to point your children to Christ during the day is to make them aware of the times when you have been reminded of Christ.
One thing that regularly points me to Jesus is practicing hospitality. I say “practice” because I don’t make picture-perfect attempts by any means. My failed attempts to love others serve to point me to Christ’s sufficiency!
I try to practice hospitality “with” my kids, reserving some hospitality-related tasks for us to do together. For example: after a visitor leaves our home I take the kids into the guest room and they “help” me turn over the room for the next guest. As the bigger kids refill the snack basket and take sheets off the beds, the baby unplugs the alarm clocks and unravels toilet paper and stuffs it into the commode.
Would this go faster if I worked when they were asleep? You bet. Sometimes it takes us a whole day (off and on) to take care of the room. But I’ve seen how this work reminds my own heart to treasure Christ and his ultimate act of hospitality in sharing his very life with me so that I could be part of God’s family and be brought into his home forever.
Jesus’ sacrificial life and death are not only examples for me in how I should serve others, but through Jesus I can change bedsheets and vacuum with the strength he provides (1 Pet. 4:11). For the joy set before him he went to the cross– so even when I practice hospitality with a rotten attitude then I am reminded of Christ’s glad sacrifice of his life for my sin. I try to let my kids in on some of my reflections about this as we’re working.
Praise God that salvation belongs to him and not to my efforts or creativity in sharing the gospel with my kids. “Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverance from death” (Ps. 68:20). This psalm is fuel for my prayers for my little ones and myself.
So, to summarize, I would encourage you to rejoice in the Lord’s adequacy in all things and let your kids in on the grace that you enjoy!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. Gloria is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).
More answers to Chasity’s questions are coming up in future posts tagged “Pointing preschoolers to Jesus.”