And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become , you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
Recently my five year old asked me about baptism:
'If you grow up in a home where you do not know about Jesus, and then become a Christian later, is that when you get baptised?'
I said, 'Yes'.
'So, I won't need to be baptised then?'
'No, you can be baptised when you have come to the point where you believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, and have repented and made the decision to live for Him alone'.
'But mummy, I do believe these things. Can I be baptised now?'
'No son, we tend to wait for a while for....'
'For what mummy?'
A similar conversation has taken place during communion these past two weeks after the pastor has explained what the bread and wine are for, and how we must take care to be sure we are right in our hearts before God before taking part.
Can a five year old really understand these things? And if so, why then shouldn't they be baptised? In our situation, we want to see a bit more evidence of true change in his life. As we were discussing today, the boys are a bit more like the book of Judges - saying sorry, but then almost immediately doing the same thing. But one could argue, are not many of us like that? And it doesn't mean we are not truly saved. All of us are sinners saved by grace!
I have really been encouraged by some of these recent conversations. I have also been quite astonished at times by the way they are putting scripture with scripture. The other morning my two year old wanted to read something from Isaiah. So I chose Isaiah 43, and when it spoke about the 'voice of one crying in the desert', my five year old immediately saw the references to John the Baptist and remarked about the fulfilment of prophecies.
Today in church, the pastor spoke from Deuteronomy 6, on the importance of sharing our faith with our children and living lives which radiate the grace of God. There were many good points, but at times there seemed to be a bit of an assumption that a young child might not understand certain things. I continue to be astonished by what young children can understand, but then reflect that Jesus saw this and applauded it. Little children were welcome to Him, and He saw something beautiful in their faith.
Let me encourage you to talk about your faith with your children. Read the Bible, and explain any difficult words. Be honest that some parts are more difficult to understand. Show your children how all scripture points to Christ.
I've mentioned on several occasions the Jesse tree which we did as an advent project. The timeline is still on the wall, but the boys have pointed out that it ends with the birth of Christ. So, I am currently designing a 40 day one for Lent, on key events in the life of Christ leading up to Easter. It will again take the form of readings, activities and a timeline and I am excited to explore this project. This is one of the greatest joys of home education - that we can really fulfil Deuteronomy 6, and speak of the things of God when we sit and when we rise, when we walk by the way and during all aspects of daily life. Whilst we learn Scripture, we can cover all kinds of other areas - reading, writing, creativity, art, music, expression, acting, narration, behaviour and character development and so forth. And from what I am seeing in our eldest, there is the development of a strong Biblical worldview.
I wonder how you have been encouraged this week?
- I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.