One of the largest concerns in my mind after Natasha made her decision for Christ was how to feed her. And then, how did I know it was real?
I poked around on-line and made some calls (knowing I’ve seen a very competent “arrival kit” for adult new believers I hoped there might be something I could use with my 4-year-old). Not easily finding something, my mind went next (I’m sorry! It’s been trained!) to “Maybe that means I should write something myself…”
Then, as my mind was there, I began to wonder how I could know if Natasha knew what she was doing (after all, 4 is awfully young…). I didn’t want my clumsy efforts to guinea-pig her and cool her interest in things of the faith.
God graciously encouraged my heart, though.
- Natasha didn’t want to call and tell anyone (e.g. grandparents), which was what made me wonder in the first place, but when I was on the phone she wanted me to tell them.
- She’s had an increased appetite for the Word (tell me that isn’t inspiring), wanting the real thing.
I grabbed the picture-bible because it was near-by and I was nursing the baby, but she said, “No, Mama, I don’t want the picture one, I want mine.” “The one with just words?” “Yes.” And she went and got it.
- She’s been willing to pray “publicly” for the first time (volunteering to pray over dinner tonight)
- And she told grandma about her decision as soon as she saw her.
So I was encouraged. And I did find a couple picture books that bring up concepts I wanted her to think about (because I expect she’ll still want picture books at her age).
The break-through for my first concern came when a church secretary called me back and said none of the right people were around to ask the curriculum question of.
Then she pointed out that with her three daughters (all grown, and all raising their children in the Faith) she had just continued with the same tack as before, reading bible stories, talking about the things of faith. The difference being that after a decision for Christ those talks have more meaning for the child.
This was such a wonderfully simple truth and I had never seen it this way. It lifted my concern (that I believe most young parents have) about how to feed my baby “right” on my own.
In all the bible stories we’ve read since Wednesday night, I’ve been able to bring up questions about our response to God and how He interacted with the people in the stories.
As a storyteller, the idea of staying with the stories themselves is so freeing. I don’t need to find a way to introduce a “simplified” Romans or Galatians to my 4-year-old. There is plenty of time for that later. For now I can be thankful for the many truths that God has provided in the stories he gave us.
From Balaam and we’ve already filled-in some gaps I had woken concerned about the morning after. God is faithful, and will always make provision for the right thing at the right time.
In the same way that I can say, “No, we’re not reading about Judah and Tamar,” knowing it’s not age-appropriate, I can wait on many other things as well.
“Jesus loves me, this I know,” is a beginning that has confounded scholars and kept them busy long enough to let my daughter grow ready for other eternal truths.
What an encouraging post. How lovely the desire for the Lord at such a young age…may it grow and grow as she matures in life and in the Lord.
Do you remember when you accepted Christ?
I was 4 as well. My mom used to read me Bible stories, my favorite one being Noah’s ark. I’m not sure if she even ever got to Jesus and His work on the cross or even the afterlife but I knew that God was in heaven. One day while she was doing my hair I asked her how I could be with God in heaven and she said what you told Natasha. (Recently, I decided I didn’t like the metaphor of “accepting Christ into your heart” but I think I’ve changed my mind again. It obviously works! Maybe I just prefer more detail in *adult* conversation.)
Even though I didn’t know the fundamentals, I was really interested in Sunday school — my teacher said the most interested one (I’m guessing the other kids hadn’t made a decision yet) — and I shared my faith with the neighborhood kids. (I was naive about the way to go about it but, in a way, I wish I still were! Seems so-called wisdom about timing, sensitivity, etc. can easily stifle passion.)
Over the years, I “accepted Christ again” as I learned more about what that decision meant and felt embarrassed when I realized I had already done it when it was all the same thing, but I DID realize it was the same. I really do believe that one does not need to have full knowledge to be a Christian. As it is, we still see through a mirror but darkly!
It is so great to hear about Natasha’s faith! I am sure since she has such a great example, that she will have plenty of opportunity to grow!