Each morning after breakfast I sit down with my children and read a couple chapters out of the Bible to them. When we first began this, they didn’t understand what was being said, and I had a lot of those eyes just drifting off into outer space! So, I’d read it slowly, then at parts where I knew they would be interested, I would re-interprete it for them. I pushed them a bit, asking them things like, “What do you think ‘multitude’ means?” We would laugh together at the ‘funny’ language of ‘thee’ and ‘thou’. Now, a couple weeks into this, we have read Matthew 1-18. And I’m seeing some delightful things.
~Instead of me reminding them of Bible time, they now remind me! Sometimes I’ve even totally forgotten about it, only to have Isaac say, “Mama, we need to read about Jesus!”
~They aren’t so starry-eyed anymore! Even Nethaneel (2yo), who is allowed one quiet toy, will refuse the toy and listen intently. I find it hillarious that even though I can’t imagine he truly understands everything, he gives these shocked faces every time we come to an exciting portion!
~They are asking me questions! Like yesterday, when we read about the transfiguration on the mount, Isaac asked, “But how does God get out of the cloud?” Another time he asked, “Who is God? Is it Jesus? Or the Father?”
And with all that it has changed in my children, our regular reading of Scripture through one book has changed me as well. I’m realizing that there is a lot of hard stuff to explain to toddlers, just in the book of Matthew! While reading through Matthew 7, we read about how God would tell the unrighteous, “I never knew you”. I explained to the children that if people do not turn to the LORD, asking Him to forgive them, then He would say, “I never knew you. Go away, you sinner!” In all the gravity of the moment, I looked at my children’s faces, and I knew that they understood the seriousness. Their hearts will forever be softened for others because they know it would be torture to be cast away from Jesus Christ. No explanation of hell was necessary, only the thought of being rejected by Jesus is enough.
Have you had to explain difficult concepts to your children? How did you do it? How do you think they were changed by what you told them?