Mustard Seed Games
Planting seeds of faith in our children
‘ Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.’ Psalms 25: 4-5
Do you have a passion for teaching your child about Jesus and the Christian faith?
Do you want them to have a solid foundation of Bible teaching and values as they grow up?
Do you want your child to develop the knowledge and skills needed to survive in an alien and dangerous world?
It is never too early to start sharing Bible stories and teaching with your child. Building firm foundations begins with the youngest child.
Many children live in a world hostile to Christianity and God’s teachings. We need to teach our children about our faith and to bring them into a relationship with a loving God. It is not acceptable to say that we will allow them to ‘make their own minds up when they are adults’, or to ‘leave it to them to discover a faith as they grow up’. We would never take this attitude when it comes to teaching about the physical dangers of the world. We carefully teach our children about road safety, the danger of things that would burn or poison, stranger- danger and so on. When they get older, we warn about drugs, alcohol and the danger of certain relationships.
We must have a similar zeal for teaching our children about spiritual and moral dangers. It is important to lay good foundations before the uncertainties of the teenage years set in. The teens are times when young people can be pulled away from God..
Children are capable of coming into a relationship with Jesus at any age and it is good to encourage their faith from the youngest of times. Samuel, Joseph and Jeremiah had a relationship with God from a young age. Jesus had a close relationship and understanding of God and the Scriptures from boyhood. Timothy was nurtured in the faith by his Mother and Grandmother. John the Baptist was filled with the Spirit from birth. Many famous missionaries and those who have been called by God to make a real change in the world have heard their call as children. C. H. Spurgeon and Hudson Taylor are examples. They frequently cited times from their childhood when they clearly heard God calling them and remembered times of teaching when they came into a personal relationship with Jesus. So there is never a time which can be considered too young to learn.
Some may say that children are too young to understand abstract concepts and yet they get involved and immersed in fictional stories and films that contain many abstract and difficult concepts. They have an encyclopaedic knowledge of characters and rules when they play card and adventure games. They similarly have a knowledge and understanding of the complex rules of their favourite sports. Many of these skills need an understanding at a sophisticated and at times, abstract, level.
Pupils do not have the same level of Christian teaching in school today than was once on the syllabus. Teaching is centred on multi faith, humanism and moral and philosophical issues. We have, therefore, to assume that the current generation of children has a lot less knowledge of God, the Church and the Bible than previous generations. Religious teaching is often taught badly by teachers with no faith and no sympathy for Christianity. We should not leave the teaching and nurturing of faith in our children to other people. There is a great need for the truth to be taught about the Bible, so that misconceptions and knowledge resulting from bad teaching is corrected. This teaching needs to be done in an active, child friendly and contemporary way.
Rob Parsons writes in Bringing Home the Prodigals – ‘Sowing seeds in our children’s lives when they are small – Bible passages, stories of heroes and heroines of the faith,…. That can inspire them to faith in God – go deep into the soil of their very being. There is many a prodigal who at their lowest moment remembered a line from an old hymn or a verse from the Bible that caused them to find hope again and a way back. … many a seed that seemed destined to die has somehow fought against rock and frost to find a way to life.’ (Used with permission of the author)