I was going to start this blog out with the question, "have you ever felt like you weren't doing a good job teaching your kids about God?" Then, I realized that would be a waste of space. Of course you have...so have I.
When Kennedy and Reagan were still preschool age and McKinley was a baby, I suddenly had this panicky feeling that I was losing time. I had heard that everything a child needs to know they learn before Kindergarten and that most adults with a vibrant faith acquired it well before their teenage years. Obviously, it was time to get busy. So, I decided that we would have a devotion at dinner time every night. You know, we would all sit peacefully around the table and discuss spiritual matters, pray for each other, Dad would give a Bible lesson and everything would be wonderful.
You know how that worked out.
It didn't. It was terrible. It felt forced. The kids were disinterested. The husband just wanted to eat his dinner without having to preach. And I was sure that we were failing miserably at the most important part of parenting.
I tried a different approach - bedtime! That will be awesome, it will be part of our "nighttime routine." They will get in their jammies, brush teeth and climb in bed. We will read a Bible story, teach them to pray, sing a hymn or two.
Not a chance.
How about right before dinner?
If you don't know me well, let me tell ya, I am not an organized, scheduled, have all my ducks in a row kind of person. When I was considering adding devotion time to the bedtime routine, I had to admit to myself that we had no bedtime routine. Ditto with breakfast. Ditto with ever being able to expect anything in our house to happen at the same time every day, ever. It's just not how we are.
Then, it dawned on me. Was my own relationship with the Lord based on my predictable, routine quiet time every morning? You know the answer. Not in a million years. No, it's more like I just talk to Him as I go about my day. I journal when I have something to journal about. I have quiet time at all different times, on all different days. My relationship with the Lord isn't like a slice of pie - all segmented and put in it's proper place - it is an ingredient in the whole pie.
And, you know what? It totally works for me.
Then I relaxed and a cool thing happened (and continues to happen). As we go about our days, the topic of God and how we go about living for and with Him just comes up naturally and we talk about it as it does. When someone is having a problem, we bring God in on it. We wrestle with issues and we don't worry when our kids ask questions or struggle with their faith. We trust that as they seek truth, they will find it. They will find Him.
And who knew? It turns out my amazing idea on how to teach kids about God was actually in the Bible:
"Impress these things on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:7