Day 17, Five Minute Prompt: STUDY
In my host culture, it is not uncommon to ask your teacher his credentials. When we studied language at a college, our professor would just explain his right off the bat to avoid having to repeat himself.
It is comforting to know that the person who teaches you is qualified. Unfortunately, my children don’t have that assurance.
I feel about as equipped to give my children a complete Biblical foundation to grow on as I do homeschooling them from now until graduation (which I am not planning on doing at the moment). But I’ve become aware that my children study me, mimicking my every move and repeating my every word. And one of them asks me at least 462 questions a day. I’m lucky if I know the answers to half of them.
I have more formal opportunities to train them as well, and I have to take advantage of these while I can because the hard reality is they’re just not gonna get it anywhere else. And the “monkey see” behaviors aren’t always the most dependable reflections of truth.
I don’t have the benefit of her learning in Sunday school each week in her first language, though she is finally beginning to recite a thing or two class.
Everything we teach our children doesn’t make sense in light of what they see outside of our home in this Hindu country. Our daughter comes home asking questions before her shoes come off her feet by the front door. We have our hands full of opportunities for gospel conversations. In this way, I am so grateful for her cultural experience that differs so much from what I would craft for her in safe little mommy world.
I have to be careful about what I teach her, thinking always of the Hindu context in which she lives. I have to be careful not to say, “We don’t celebrate this holiday, wear tikka, etc. because we are Christians.” Because we aren’t (don’t worry, keep reading).
Her daddy and I have received the gift of salvation and given our lives to Christ, but she hasn’t. It’s a popular belief here that you are born into a religion, and we don’t take that lightly with our children. She tells us she wants to love and know Jesus, and we are excited to hear that, but we are careful not to convince her she already does.
Right now, we are driving home that she, her brother, and the whole lot of us are all just stinky sinners loved by a perfect God. We’re adding a little more every day, and while you may not see her quoting 26 scriptures for each letter of the alphabet anytime soon, I sense some understanding and a softening heart towards the things of God.
I will keep studying and growing in the Lord and sharing the change and the knowledge that comes with my children. Just as I expect my pastor to be seeking the Lord and faithfully prepare sermons on Sunday (or Saturday here) to feed his flock, I must be diligent to prepare myself and my teachings specifically for my children.
I’ll also remember that they are watching their imperfect teacher, taking note of what my actions say about the God I claim with my mouth.
Maybe the monkey-sees will get better as we mature in the Lord together. But maybe they won’t. That’s not really what I’m after, and I reckon He didn’t sacrifice His Son for good behavior.
He wants their hearts and every facet of their lives. And I want them to give it all to Him when they fully understand the life-wrecking, beautiful mess they’re getting themselves into. I beg that it will be sooner rather than later. I know that my two precious pupils are much more loved by Him, though I can’t untangle my tender thoughts to understand how that’s possible.
With this assurance, I trust that, in His perfect timing, He will draw them to Himself despite all the ways I’ve failed them as a teacher.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).
What are your little monkeys learning from you?
How do you integrate Biblical teaching into your daily routines with small children?
Talk to me in the comment section!