Riding along in the car the other day, being “taxi driver” for my granddaughter between cheer practice after school and home, I asked my usual question as I tried to open up conversation with three of my grandkids who were in the car. “So, how was school?” I asked. “What was your favorite thing that happened today?” Of course, the first responses were the typical, “Fine. Nothing.” Annoyed that I couldn’t get a response to keep much of any conversation going, I was prepared to leave it at that for the short ride to their home.
But then I heard my oldest grandson share that his friend showed him a book entitled Who Is Jesus? I figured my grandson, age 10, who is an avid reader, would be interested in that title. Biographies and autobiographies are his favorite! We had talked about Jesus often during our times together, including the steps to becoming a Christian and the importance of our lifestyle once we made the decision to follow Christ. Every Christmas and Easter we reviewed the meaning of the holiday and its ties to Jesus. So his next question took me a bit by surprise. “Grandma,” he asked, “Who is Jesus? Was he a real person? What did he do?” In the remaining time until we reached their home, I reviewed again the truth about Jesus and his importance to the world and to us.
A colleague shared with me the joy it gave her to have a conversation with her grandchildren about the origins most holidays have that are rooted in faith. Pointing out the commercial aspects that have completely buried the faith ties, her grandchild was truly intrigued by the information her grandmother shared.
You may find yourself having these same basic faith conversations with your child…or not. I almost passed over the opportunity to catch the question my grandson asked. I could have dismissed it because we had already covered it in multiple ways previously. But listening to my grandson’s sincere desire to know and hear once again about Jesus and my colleague’s granddaughter’s intrigue about the influence of faith in the holidays reinforced an important principle to me.
Kids have a deep desire for a spiritual relationship with Jesus and to understand what their faith is all about. The foundation of faith is built throughout childhood. We can’t put off those conversations. They are critical at every age and they bear repeating over and over and over, in many ways and in multiple situations. As parents, grandparents and ministry leaders we must watch for the opportunities and step into them. Our kids count on us to lead them in their faith. Let’s do it.