Every night after all the teeth are brushed, rooms straightened, and pajamas are put on we gather on our bed for Bible story time. We read a story from The New Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes
by Kenneth Taylor (if you haven’t read this with your 3-7 year old you really should!). Next the kids pick a favorite song to sing.
Then we lead by example. This part changes every day, somewhat by what happened that day. We might:
talk about the best part of our day (focusing on joy in all circumstances)
talk about something we are thankful for (helping kids to realize how we’ve been blessed)
Talk about something that didn’t go well & how it was frustrating (teachable moments)
How we interacted with someone else today & how we can pray for or bless them with service
Talk about something we learned (bible verse, history, whatever comes to mind)
And more, but my mind is blanking right now =-)
But tonight we confessed our sins.
Confessing my sins publicly is not something I grew up with or am very comfortable with. But I know it is Biblical and therefore important for me & important to intentionally teach my children.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
So we did just that. I asked them all to think of a sin from today. Minnie had a hard day & it was easy to point out a slew of them. Goofy had an exceptionally good day and it was hard, but he came up with one we didn’t even know. My husband & I had ones too; it was good for them to realize that Mom & Dad sin too! The act of confession, followed by us each praying for forgiveness, in and of itself was beautiful to me. (Why hadn’t we done that sooner?!)
But then, something else happened – a teachable moment that I had not even thought of. Goofy was pointing out that Minnie had much more sin that day & so Jesus would be more upset by her many sins. I explained to Goofy that we “all sin and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Even if someone committed just one “tiny” sin they would still be separated from God & need Jesus’ death on the cross to pay (atone) for their sins. Small or big, we all need Jesus; we all need to confess & be forgiven. He got it.
What was a frustrating, pull-your-hair-out type of day became something beautiful. With God’s help, we were able to not only teach, but illustrate to our kids how to confess.
Food for thought,