Sunday, April 25, 2010

When your children ask...tell them

These words, taken from a passage in Joshua, sum up my philosophy of parenting and teaching - when they ask, tell them.

I remember being struck by these words years ago and I was reminded of it again tonight as our pastor's message was taken from Joshua 4.  In the passage, God divides the Jordon river so that the Israelites can cross to the other side on dry land, but He gives special instructions for them to do something while the river is divided.  He tells them to collect stones from the middle of the river bed and to use them to erect a memorial so that when their children ask about it they can tell them about the miracle of the dividing of the Jordon.   I think it is a lesson in the importance of handing down the stories of our faith and walk with God and how "memorial stones" or items can spark our children's curiosity to ask and remind us to tell.

I've taken the words, even further, however, and I've used them as the basis of parenting and teaching my little one.  I haven't set up a structured learning plan for her yet, but I have followed her leading, while at times putting things in her path to see if she wants to explore them.  When she asks questions, I answer them as best I can and try to expand on her curiosity to make the most of her interest, but I stop when the interest is gone.  This method has been working quite well with her so far.

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