Tidbit, random style: I wish it would snow.
Wednesday night is the night we normally take our kids to a Bible club. It’s a great place of learning and fun. There are loving people who do good things there. I went to something similar growing up and had always appreciated my time their. So of course my kids should go to something that teaches them the fundamentals of the Christian faith. The kids were hesitant at first, but once they saw their friends at club and how much fun everyone was having, they were excited to go. And so we have gone for two years now. They are encouraged to learn scripture and bring friends. The boys have learned about missionaries in far away lands helping people receive the gospel message. It’s been great.
Along the way we have been reinforcing what they have learned at Bible club along with what they learn from Sunday School. God loves them no matter what. He cares for all people. It’s our job to love people and reach out to them. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. This is the message we are teaching at home. Most of the time.
Over the last two years I have seen a trend in our boys. One of the perks of Bible club is to get prizes for saying verses, bringing friends, attending church. All very good things. Witness this conversation we had last night as the boys were getting ready:
Me: Ok, kids lets get our stuff together.
The younger one: But we don’t know any verses!
(maybe we get a little lax on this side of things. but with homework, family visits and both of us working sometimes we don’t get to the verses.)
The older one: Yeah, we won’t win tonight if we don’t have any verses ready!
Me: God does not care how many verses you memorize for Bible club. That doesn’t make Him love you less.
I was putting away dishes, but then my husband was laughing a little as the boys were frantically shaking their heads no, in protest to my assurances that they would be fine at Bible club. That God DOES CARE how many Bible verses the boys have memorized.
Now I am not saying kids shouldn’t memorize Bible verses. Or that God does not desire for us to ..”Hide his word in our hearts.” He does want us to do just that. We are to study the Bible completely and listen to what God has to say for us. But the fact that my kids are learning that DOING THINGS can earn them God’s favor is scary to me. I grew up with this mindset. And in my later teen and college years I was a Pharisee. I knew exactly what I could and couldn’t do to be a Christian. And it cost me several relationships because I was to “good” to hang out with certain people. Because they weren’t the right people. This is one lesson I DO NOT want my kids to learn.
I want my kids to know that the salvation they receive is a gift of love. And that this love is what spurs us onto action for God. That the more time they spend with God the more they will desire to be in His Word and apply it to their lives. That not just one group of people can perform their way into heaven.
Maybe I am just reading to much into this. And we will probably keep sending them to Bible club. But we’ll also pick up the other side of the coin. That grace and mercy are gifts for all of us. That God loves us NO MATTER WHAT. And that He does not want us to know a bunch of verses just so we can get a patch and a piece of candy. His gift to us is so much bigger than that. This is what I want to pass on to my kids.