Over the years I’ve become fascinated with the idea and process of spiritual development. It started when I realized how incredibly influential my upbringing, my hometown, my siblings, my family, my personality, my race, my gender–all of it– has been on the formation of my faith. The fact that I am a rule-follower, white woman who grew up in a generally well-off small town with a two-parent household (who embraced equality and non-traditional gender roles) is HUGE as it has reveals the baseline from which I view God and others.
After having children, my interest in adult spiritual development has grown to include the faith formation of children as well.
- What does it mean for a child to “be saved”?
- How important is it to have a “welcoming Jesus into my heart” moment with kids? Is it biblical? Is it necessary?
- How do children hear the various stories of Scripture?
- How can I communicate these stories in a developmentally and spiritually appropriate way, yet also stay true to the purpose for which these stories were being told?
- How can I teach my kids to not be afraid to ask questions and think critically while also keeping a soft heart that loves the God who inspired the Scriptures?
- Who do my children think Jesus is (like, not the Sunday school factual answer, but the character of Jesus and how He relates to their everyday lives)?
All that to say, this month over at Graham Blanchard, a few of us moms are sharing our first memories of Jesus (I wonder what my kids will one day say?). Here’s what I shared:
I grew up in a culturally Christian home. We attended church on the “important days” but I wasn’t nurtured into a relationship with Jesus. My aunt, however, became a Christian sometime during my early childhood, and I remember her sharing about Jesus with my family and me when she came to visit during the summer. She would teach me how to sign (ASL) Christian songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and “Zaccheus was a Wee Little Man.” She’d tell us stories from the Bible and give us “Jesus-themed” gifts (which I mostly thought were a little lame, to be honest, ha!). These are my first memories of hearing about Jesus.
At the time, I was slightly curious about Jesus, but I have a hard time saying for sure if my curiosity and interest had more to do with the person of Jesus or with my love for my aunt. Either way, God was planting seeds of His love in my heart. While I didn’t come to really trust in Jesus until middle school, I know those early stories, songs and discussions set the foundation for my relationship with God.
This post was fun for me to write because it gave me space to remember and recognize how early the Lord was planting his seeds of love in my heart, and how long those seeds were watered before coming to full bloom. Wow, right? He was pursuing my heart even before I knew who He was.
So, head on over, read our stories if you’re interested, but before you leave, would you mind sharing your earliest memories of hearing about the person of Jesus?