When our Kids Don’t Want to Hear About God

Come three weeks into the new year and I realize that I’ve let the rhythm of intentionally talking with my kids about God and His ways slip silently away.
Preaching to myself today. :)

“Because you didn’t want to.”

The reason one mom gave to her now grown daughter for never doing family devotions or talking much about God with her children while they were growing up.

And one of the main reasons many of us mamas shy away from teaching our kids about God and His ways.

Because our children simply don’t want to.

Maybe they’re tired or grouchy or engrossed with a toy. Maybe they find it boring and dry or just want to set mom in a tizzy. Maybe they’ve had it with a faith that seems in their eyes to be dead (Maybe in our own hearts it is?). That coupled with our own ignorance and insecurities – wondering how we could possibly teach something in an “age-appropriate” and “fun” way that we will never this side of heaven completely understand ourselves – makes it all too easy to leave one of our main roles as parents up to preachers and youth leaders and Sunday school teachers.

Because our children don’t want to.

And, well, if we’re honest, maybe we don’t want to either!?

family time

And there, there you have a piece of my heart.

The reason why this week I am getting back into the rhythm of balancing a Bible and a toddler and a camera and sometimes all sorts of supplies while a four year-old races around in circles with her favorite pony and the five year-old says, “No, I’m going to stay here and make another firehouse out of Legos right now,” as I desperately try to pour Truth out and in.

Because I want to passionately share my love for God and His Word in any way I can with my children.

Because I don’t want the feelings of my children and my own insecurities to stop them from hearing the message of truth, the gospel of our salvation (Eph. 1:13) – the same message I pray God will work miracles in their hearts so that they will truly believe and be saved.

Because I want myself and my kids to know God better. To not simply know of God, but to know HIM and His heart through His Words and through His Spirit at work within us.

And because I know there have got to be other moms out there like me that want to know that they’re not alone. That there is this other crazy in love with her Savior mama on the other side of the screen that keeps trying though there are so many other things that need to get done and she’s not sure how to word it all right and children are wiggly and seemingly unresponsive and sometimes we all just-don’t-want-to… and yet, and yet won’t give up! (Please tell me I’m not the only one!)

Chalk Gospel

Kayla's snowball

Kayla's heart

For, please hear me, it’s not about making it fun and appealing and notably enjoyable for every child in the whole wide world. It’s not about games or activities or the mom who lets her children paint on the window or put mud all over their shirt. And it’s not about some perfectly planned out Pinterest-worthy activity.

No, it’s about falling in love with God and His Word and bringing our children right along with us.

It’s about letting God do His incredible work through His life-breathing Word.

It’s about modeling for our children our passion for God and passing on this love from generation to generation to generation, so that they will know Him better and He will be glorified.

And if doing these little extra things like playing with glitter, or dressing up like knights, or gluing dirt on hearts helps to remember these precious truths – great.

But let’s not make the mistake of believing that everything needs to be super fun and tailored to our children (or even incredibly time consuming) in order for God’s power to do its incomparable work. God knows and loves our children, and He wants them to turn to Him a thousand times more than we could ever imagine.

So let’s stop fearing, and start trusting that God is pursuing and working in their hearts, because He is.

And let’s make sure that we ourselves are pursuing God! God can reach the hearts of our children without our help, but don’t be fooled, if we are longing for our children to pursue and know God more, but are not finding time for Him ourselves – we are hypocrites. {Ouch!}

For there is no more incredible place that we can be, that our children can be… no video game, no Disney World, no water park, no incredibly cozy bed with Starbucks delivered… that can compare to knowing our God who is with us and whose name is Majesty.

family

Will you join me in leading our kids to His throne!? Whether it be pulling out the shaving cream or costumes or paint and glitter? Or whether it be prying our mouths back open so that we no longer stay silent about God and His Truth as we tuck little ones under covers?

Comments

  1. Thank you for this from the bottom of my heart!! I am a mom of 2 girls (6 & 3) and the Sunday School Director at our church and struggle with this weekly (if not daily!). You gave voice to my concerns and thoughts so eloquently that I had to share with my whole team!! I am now going to follow your website and hope to glean more kernels of wisdom and hope from you!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! (and Thank Him too for guiding me to you!)

    • Gretchen, Thank you for your sweet words that encouraged my heart! So blessed that God can lead us to others that have hearts for Him!
      Looking forward to getting to know you more.
      ~Jessica

  2. I have the same troubles with my boys. I have found even when I think they aren’t listening they are. It warms my heart when after a struggle to get the word to my little ones and me not thinking they are listening, my 2 year old turns to me and says Jesus is his friend, I know that I am doing the right thing. Keep pressing on my dear friend. They hear you and see you and will follow your example. Prayers and love.

    • I love your sweet reminder, Chela, that they are getting more than we often realize – that God is working in their hearts despite our efforts or failures. Love to you! ~Jessica

  3. Hi Jessica,
    great blog piece and a reminder that I need every now and then. Our 7 year old wet fishing this week (remember its hot down here!) and she caught a beautiful mullet fish and wanted to bring it home. Of course we explained to her it would die at home, she didnt believe us and it died an hour after arriving home. It became an hour of tear on her part, and her being so upset it wasn’t until we reflected back to the creation story, fish belong in the sea etc that she calmed down and we buried the fish with her saying a prayer it was a reminder that to think GOD first in every situation with my kids and then things work well.
    Also I a reading a bible reading program with my son, every night we read from the gospels, every night he mucks around and I’m sure he isn’t listening, but I press on every night. Tonight I found a few questions on the passage we were reading, he mucked around but was able to answer all the questions and even created conversation about the passage (which was a dry passage in John – not the best for encouraging a 9 yo!! But he told me in the end he loves me reading and encouraged me!!

    So thanks for this reminder!!

    Vicki

  4. Jenny Schmitz says:

    I swear you are writing this blog only for me! This is so timely. Just last night I tried again (after many nights “off”) to do Bible Study with my kiddos. No activities, no props, just a study book and the Bible. I had to remind myself that it doesn’t matter that it had been awhile. It just mattered that I was still trying. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

  5. Oh yes!! Something that I have been struggling with during our school time, and I’m trying to figure out when to have our Bible time. You are SO not alone, this momma is struggling right along with you.

  6. Brandi Hoff says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I shared your post on my church’s facebook page last week, and our pastor was moved by it and felt led to spend some time talking about it during our service this morning. You are not alone, and this mama struggles just like you. Thank you for having the courage to share your heart in such an honest way. This morning your post was read at a little church in Murfreesboro, TN and I’m sure that it will encourage many parents. God is using you in a mighty way! God bless you!

Share Your Thoughts

*