I’ve had something on my mind and in my prayers the last few weeks, and I would love to get all of your input on it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how self-happiness-centered Ali’s life is. Which is wonderful – I love seeing her happy – but I want to make sure that her life isn’t just filled with happiness, but with the true joy of knowing and living for God.
I know, she’s only two, but the thing is that so far, most of her life has revolved around her. How can I start teaching, at her age, that our life doesn’t revolve around her, but it revolves around God? How can I model this for her and teach her how to live it?
We read the bible and pray every night, we talk about God all the time, we pray at meals, we go to Church and Bible Study, we talk about how God wants us to share, obey, be honest, be sweet, etc, but how can I show her that it goes so, so much farther than that?
I have been praying about this and trying to think of creative ways to do this that a two year old can grasp, but have so far come up blank. However, God DID give me a good passage as a starting point for what I’m trying to accomplish:
1 Timothy 6:17-19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Now let me clarify that we are by no means and in no way “rich”, and I certainly don’t mean to imply this by quoting this passage. However, in Ali’s little world, she has everything she wants. We have annual passes to McWane Center and the Zoo. She has tons of toys, books, and dolls. Her world is filled with “stuff” and “fun”.
But I want her to understand that those things aren’t the be all and end all of life. Because making her happy at all times shouldn’t be my goal. My goal should be to show her how to have true joy by her relationship with Jesus and by serving other people in Jesus’ name.
So this passage has a few awesome pointers to framework what I’m trying to accomplish:
- Do not put your hope in stuff, but in God, who gave us the stuff for our enjoyment.
- Do good.
- Be rich in good deeds.
- Be generous and willing to share.
- These things will lay up treasures in heaven and allow you to lay hold of life that is truly life.
So how do you apply these things in real life for a two year old? I am going to be studying and praying about this for the next few weeks, and I will report back to you my results. However, I would LOVE to hear your input about how to start making Christianity real on a practical level at this young age.
What have you done?
What good creative ideas do you have?
I would cherish any and all of your thoughts and direction on this issue.