How to Introduce Your Child To Jesus (easy steps that a still-learning mommy can do)

One time when I was a middle-school teacher (a pregnant and grumpy one, this particular day), I tallied the number of questions I was asked in a 60-minute period. I wish I could remember how many it was, because I am 90% sure that this was a mere warm-up for the pure inquisition I have been experiencing at the hands of a bright-eyed, way-too-smartt and abundantly curious little boy who lives here.

I am questioned out.

I think I know what the Apostle Peter was talking about when he said we needed to be ready “in season and out of season” and “to have an answer for everyone who asks you…” Pretty sure he was talking to moms of toddlers. (He just didn’t want to come out and say it.)

In the last 48 hours, these are just a mere sampling of the questions I have been asked.

  • How do ears hear, eyes see, and boogers get in our noses?
  • Why do the trees stand up straight and tall?
  • Why do football players line up in a line?
  • How do they make the animal chicken into the food chicken? (That one was tough.)
  • What kind of animal is a Hokie bird? (“I have been instructed to respond, ‘a ferocious, fighting turkey,’ in case anyone else is curious.)
  • How do you keep the car in the lane?
  • What makes it snow?
  • Is there snacks in heaven?
  • Why do boys not wear makeup?
  • Why do men not have big tummies with babies in them?
  • Do scorpions swim in the water?
  • Do germs look like dirt?
  • How is a fire hot?
  • How do they make jelly beans?
  • What happens if girls play football?

And again, this is just a sampling, limited by a mom’s tired memory or failure to find a pencil at the right time.

This is just a beautiful, exhausting age.

I feel like a failure sometimes. I don’t have the right answers. I’m too tired, or too distracted to answer sufficiently. I don’t seize each chance, and once-in-a-childhood moments ripen and rot away.

And it’s fine if I don’t succinctly describe a twelve-man offensive rotation (which, trust me, is probably what’s happening. I’m not even sure that is a thing. Is an offensive rotation a thing? Anyways.) Likewise, it’s not the end of the world if I can’t remember how exactly it snows.

But Jesus, and heaven, and God and all that?

Yikes, I don’t want to be sleeping on the job for those questions.

I’ve thought of a few ways to intentionally teach Sam about Jesus. These are not rocket science, and I’m sure there are a bazillion books that say it better. But here are my thoughts.

  • Pray out loud, regularly. Relax, though. I don’t mean long-winded advanced churchy prayers. I am talking here about verbalizing those quick God-directed thoughts you have anyway. God, please help us find our car keys. God, I’m frustrated – help me to be patient with Ty. God, help us find our car keys. God, please help us not get lost. God, Tommy is sick. Help him feel better. God, please help us find our car keys. (I am pretty sure Sam is going to think “please help us find our car keys” is a verse in the actual Bible. But there is nothing I can do about that right now.)

And a really cool thing has happened since I’ve prayed out loud to find my car keys.

Sam, too, asks God for help.

In the past few days, he’s asked God to help him find his stuffed animals, to help him be a good football player, and to please make it snow (a particular prayer that is echoed by all members of this household). Now, of course prayer isn’t all about making God give you everything you want. But I am thrilled beyond thrilled that he thinks knows God is listening to what he needs.

  • Pray with him. Todd is way better at this than I am, so I am just going to tell you what he does. At night, they say prayers. Todd has Sam repeat after him. It is very basic stuff. “Thank you for Mommy.” Thank you for Mommy. “Help me to have a good attitude.” Help me to have a good attitude. etc. etc.

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Todd is showing Sam that he prays, teaching him how, and making it a positive experience. It is often not long, and that’s okay.

  • Throughout your day, talk about two things:
  1. God made everything.
  2. God loves them.

This is directly copied from my mother, when I watched her teach two-year-olds Sunday school. I love it because it is so do-able. I tried to teach Sam the story of Joseph and the coat today while I was making turkey tettrazini…I’m pretty sure I lost brain cells and mixed up a good portion of the details. But I can usually get “God made everything” right. even on a few hours of sleep.

  • This next one also helps when you’re tired and brain-fogged. Get a good children’s Bible and good children’s devotional. Reading a story at night as part of a routine is an easy way to teach, without exerting energy that you do not have, or explaining topics that you do not fully understand. See the links above for my two favorite choices.

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  • Music. Why re-invent the wheel, ya know? Jesus Loves Me was already written! Play it! This CD (Cedarmont Kids Bible Songs) is worth it’s weight in gold. I know there are other terrific kids CDs…any favorites you have? We listen to the Pandora station “Jesus Loves Me” radio, also. Added plus of this is that it teaches you verses to all those songs you kind of know and kind of forget.
  • Ask God to help me teach my kids about Him. I hesitate to even say this, because it is so obvious. But if I need help, I should ask for it. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. {James 1:5}

What helps your kids learn about Jesus? Does your family have favorite books or music?

 

 

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10 thoughts on “How to Introduce Your Child To Jesus (easy steps that a still-learning mommy can do)

  1. Jessica, I want to thank you so much for this post. It was just what I needed to read tonight, and makes me feel like I can teach my little guy about Jesus, and that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. Thank you for your wonderful, easy to implement ideas!! We have both of the books you suggested, and they are awesome!

  2. Check out the Praise Baby CD/DVD series. We love the DVDs and even though they are more for babies, my 2 year old still loves them and asks to watch them!

    I’ve been doing so many of these things and seeing great results. Ezra is asking for us to “talk ta Jesus” multiple times a day and wow I’m so glad because I desperately need it. And just Wednesday night, we were out at night and he looked up at the moon. I asked “Who made the moon?” and he responded “GOD made da moon!” I was a little shocked but so happy and proud!!

    Love this post and am definitely sharing!!!

    • I did forget about those! We have one, and it was a lifesaver especially when my kids were sick! It’s so calming! I’ll have to check out the others! Thanks, Aprille! 🙂

      • You are welcome! We have all four plus the Christmas one. As I type this I’m hiding in the kitchen with a bowl of soup while he’s in the playyard watching Praise Baby…He was driving me NUTS and I was about to pull out my hair!!!

  3. I also wanted to suggest the Jesus Calling Bible and the Seeds Family Worship CDs. The CDs are scripture put to music and they are WONDERFUL! That’s all we listen to in the car now, and I am finally memorizing some scripture, just by listening to them!

  4. We have the Jesus Storybook Bible and both editions of the Little Blessings line for the Daily Devotions for Preschoolers and have really enjoyed them for about a year now. I really liked your point about praying out loud to teach them to turn to God, I need to put that into practice. Another recommendation I have for those out there that do or are interested in doing a home-based Sunday School is The Bible Study Guide for All Ages – Beginner Student Pages (geared towards 4 – 5 year olds but very reasonable for 3 and 6 too). We started this around 3. There are 416 total lessons if you get the full set, but you can buy individual packs of 26 lessons each. There are also accompanying Beginner Timeline (think – giant flashcards of key people and facts in the Bible) and a CD (90 songs) that are used. The lessons are very interactive. If you click this link, it’ll show you an example PDF of a lesson (2 pages). I think this is GREAT and my oldest always begs for Sunday School time to do these.
    http://biblestudyguide.com/shop/beginner-student-pages.php?osCsid=01fea2240657f1791af48aae83084a17

  5. Thank you for this. I feel like a failure as a mom sometimes because I have been wondering HOW do you teach your kids about Jesus at such a young age? My son is 2 1/2 and I feel like he should know so much more about Jesus than he does. Anyway, thank you for this. I am going to check out the links you provided and use these tips you shared.

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