Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As a mama, how do I approach scripture?

I must admit, when I hear Christians use scripture in debate with atheists or agnostics, I cringe. I feel like I can see the other person stop listening.

Clearly the authority of scripture is a cornerstone of the Christian faith, but engaging with our world means understanding that not everyone recognizes that authority and may see it as silly-from-the-Dark-Ages circular reasoning.

Anyway, this post is not about that. This post recognizes all of those differences, but lands on the fact that I do hold scripture in an extremely high place in my heart and home. So reader, if you do not, this post is not for you.

But as a Christian mama, why should I make it a priority to study scripture and teach it to my children? Shouldn't it just be a private thing between God and me? Shouldn't I let them decide what they will believe on their own as they grow and mature?

After all, we wouldn't want to be these frightening parents...

As with everything, we must seek the balance. If I staunchly require James to read his Bible before he's allowed to eat breakfast, there's a problem. However, if he witnesses Jim and me reading and singing scripture because we find joy and comfort and truth in it, that is better - - and much closer to scripture, I believe. I want to teach him that we don't read scripture to know a book (and certainly not to model behaviors of a number of Old Testament characters) but to better know a Person. 

But how then will he call on him if he has not believed? And how will he believe if he doesn't hear? And how will he hear if his Mama doesn't tell him???*

So I will tell him. 

Broadly at first, with great resources like the Jesus Storybook Bible, wherein "every story whispers His name." Showing him the whole arch of the redemptive story, how it all fits together and points to Jesus. And with our wonderful Fellowship Kids ministry who so beautifully partners with us in simple monthly memory verses and activities. And as he grows, we can dive in more deeply, learning together what this great and mysterious book means to us. 

All that said, even if I were to choose to force scripture down his throat OR be more passive in hopes that he'll "catch" it, it doesn't matter. It's not up to me. I can do the best job within my knowledge and capacity as his mama and he could still grow up and curse God. And if that's the case, I will still utterly love him because I was loved. For while I was cursing and lying and giving myself away, God loved me. 

But perhaps one day - and I pray that it's so - James and Anna will meet the God of this book. Perhaps they will be given eyes to see and ears to hear how this God was Jesus and came to us and died and killed death and was alive again.  

And while it will be my greatest joy, the glory will not be mine.

(*Rom. 10:14, my words)  

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Sara, the other day I prayed out loud to find my phone as we were running late one morning. When I got in the car, Landon pointed out some birds and I referenced a convo we had earlier in the week about God watching over us like He does the birds, and how Jesus answered my prayer about my phone. As I was saying "answered my prayer", I thought in my mind how abstract that was for him, but he immediately said "we sing a song about God at school" and sang the "God is so good" verse, "God answers prayers, He's so good to me." It was so sweet, the Lord used that little moment to reassure me that things are sticking even though I may not notice day in and day out. My prayer for our boys and girls is that they'll see God alive in our homes.