Why do we follow what the Bible says? Yes, we're jumping right in this morning.
Are you able to answer that question immediately? And succently? How about if you had to share it with a five year old? How would you explain why we should follow His commands, why we should obey God?
While raising our boys I've pondered this question and realized I didn't have a quick answer. I could stumble my way through but by the time I'm finished my kids eyes would be glazed over and their response would be something awesome and holy like, "can I have a snack now?".
As an adult I have spent years trying to get away from a legalistic mentality. My people-pleasing personality coupled with a very conservative upbringing has caused me to wrestle with why I follow God's rules. Is it only to check off a to-do list? Is it so I will look good? Is it to avoid the wrath of God? I want so badly for my boys to know the WHY behind our faith so I set them up well in trusting God. What a gift that would be to them. Not just knowing what to do or how to act but why we do it. I think when we can understand the why behind following Jesus and trusting that God knows the very best for us, we really buy in. We really get it. We really cling to and live out what we say we believe.
So...why is it important and how do I convey the importance of God's Word to my boys in such a way that they are compelled to obey? In a way that causes them to understand the root of why we follow the Bible?
One day, as we were driving and talking about it, a lightbulb went off. It's like I had found the key to unlock the WHY in 5-year-old-boy language. (**Remember, it's important when explaining things to your kids to keep it relevant and simple and SHORT. Clearly, based off the intro to this post, I'm really good at that....ahem.)
Here's how the conversation went:
Me: "Hey boys...why do we do what the Bible says?"
5 Year Old Boy #1: "Ummm...I don't know"
5 Year Old Boy #2: "Umm...so God will love us"
Me: "Did you know that God loves us no matter what? There is nothing we can do to make Him love us any more or any less. But you know what? God MADE US. So He know's what is best for us. It's similar to when you build legos. Crews, if you built something using your legos you'd know the best way to use it, right? If Tate walked in and tried to tell you how to use it he probably wouldn't know the best ways, right? Because he didn't build it, you did. You know all the cool things it can do and the best way it works. Well, God built us! He knows the very best way we work just like when you build legos you know the very best way they work! So, it's important that we follow what He tells us because He built the earth and He built us and He has the very best life for us!"
BOOM. That was the end of the conversation. But they got it. It made sense. It related to something they could grasp. And it was something short and simple that I can come back to often. It's an analogy that we will continue to use while legos are still an interest they have (which, based on the way Jordan and my dad like to "help" the boys with their legos, means it is an analogy that could last until they are grown men!) and something that I hope sets them up well to know WHY we obey God.
I share this in hopes that it serves as an encouragement to you in coming up with a way to explain the Bible to your kids! Find a way to relate it to a current interest of theirs, make it simple and short, and revisit it often. It will be a gift to your kids as they grow up to know the WHY behind obeying God's ways.