Yesterday I had one of those rare moments that we cherish with our kids, a heart to heart conversation. While sitting in the driveway splitting and spitting our sunflower seeds (something you get really good at as a baseball mom) my son opened up and asked about communion at church yesterday.
As Christians, bringing our children up to have a strong faith in the Lord is something that is very important to us as parents. We realize that while we guide them and allow them experiences like attending children's church or church camp, somewhere down the road, they are going to have to make a decision regarding their faith for themselves.
It is my prayer that years from now, our son will look back on our little conversation and reflect on the things that he asked and that I was able to share. Which brings me back to his questions regarding communion.
Why do we have communion in church? I was glad that he had thought about this for several hours after the service. I was able to ask him if he understood our belief that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. Oh yes, he knew about the cross and Jesus dying. What exactly is sin though, how do we know if we are sinning? So we chatted about things like what if we were to steal something out of our neighbors garage, or if he were to do something and lie about it when we asked him for an answer. Ok, he got that, but then he asked that question that we as adults struggle with, "mom, what happens if we know we are doing something wrong and we just continue to do it anyway? Will God still forgive us?"
"Mom, do you know that some people don't think that hell is real?" "I do, and do you know that there are some people who don't believe that God is real?" "He is though." "How do you know?" "I just believe He is."
I was able to answer him with "somewhere down the road CJ, you of all people will know and remember that God is real, and that He has done something very special in your life." "I will?" The conversation went on to explain to him that there was a time when he was 1 when doctors told us that he would not survive his sickness. "They said I would die? How did they know that?" We talked about the medical issues and the things that we've explained to him before. "You had people from all over the world praying for you to get better." "From China?" "Yes" "From Africa" "Yes, and from Russia and from all over the United States, and we kept copies of all of their emails and notes in your baby book." Someday I will need to read all of those.
Someday, you will read all of those, and that someday, you will know, without a shadow of a doubt that God did something really amazing in your life. That not only does God love you, but he healed you and has a plan for you, something much greater that your dad or I could plan for you.
I only share highlights of the conversation, as this was one of those very personal moments where your child asks those deep, thoughtful, life questions. I'm glad that I was sitting outside with those sunflower seeds when he needed to talk and I'm glad it was on an afternoon where it was just he and I and we had all the time in the world to find the answers he needed.
"Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven." Henry Ward Beecher
More from parenting