Friday, May 10, 2013

What are we Teaching?

I work with kids a lot, and I enjoy every minute of it. I've always loved working with kids. And our journey with infertility doesn't make it any harder. In fact, it makes me love spending time with them even more. Crazy?
Maybe I'm just thankful that God has placed me in a position where I get to spend so much time with these young kids, teach them and most importantly, learn from them.
But then comes the hard part. The constant reminder of "what kind of example am I setting?"
This hit me really hard yesterday. I had been watching my nephew all day, and when his older sister came home we got to spend some time together. She seemed a bit bummed out that she will be repeating first grade, but overall happy. As it got later, I was getting a bit anxious. I needed to get across town during rush hour traffic. Around here, that can turn a 30 minute trip into an hour long trip. I made a commitment at church to work childcare for a class, and I said I would be there at 6. 5:30 was coming on pretty quick, and I was getting a bit nervous.
My niece is 6 and rather perceptive when it comes to the emotions of others. So she asked me why I didn't want to spend more time with her and why I was in such a hurry to leave. I explained to her that I would LOVE to spend more time with her but that I had to get to church.
Then she floored me. She looked up at me. Sad.
"Do you love church more than me, Aunt Becky?"
I was floored.
How do you answer that sort of question. How do I explain to a 6 year old how important my faith is, and how important God is in my life?
So I knelt down in front of her, and I told her. "I don't love church more than you, but I do love God more. I love God more than EVERYONE! You know how I married your uncle Chris?"
"Well, I love God more than I love uncle Chris. God is more important to me than anyone."
At that question I was so thankful that I had found a nesting egg earlier. A nesting egg with John 3:16 scripted on each egg that fit one inside the other.

So I talked to her. I told her that God loves each one of us so very much. That God gave up His son. His only son. The apple of His eye, to come down and die, so that we might be forgiven.
"If He loves me THAT much? How can I not love Him that much? When I became a Christian, I knew it meant that God had to come first.
Then my heart broke.
"What's a Christian?"
We then had a little chat about following Christ and placing Him first in your life. I can't help but wonder, even amongst church going families, how many of the kids that I interact with in our church nursery and preschool groups, know what it means to be a Christian. Have even heard the word spoken?
My niece went to a Christian preschool. She was taught to pray before her meals and every night before bed. But she had no idea what I meant when I said I was a Christian.
It made me question what kind of example we set for kids. Are we expecting them to just blindly follow along and do these things, or are we teaching them real lessons regarding faith and Jesus? Are we demonstrating to them how God should ALWAYS be #1 in our lives? Or do we just teach them the basics and pray it will get them through?
I don't know if I did the right thing. I don't know if I will ever know. I just know I couldn't lie...

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