Teaching from the Heart

I heard of Truth78 curriculum when it was called Children Desiring God about 18 years ago in Minnesota when I attended Bethlehem Baptist Church as a new Christian. The idea of teaching children this marvelous wisdom was new and incredible to me. I was pregnant with my first child, and I remember walking by the hallways of the nursery and being in awe that there was intentional teaching of truth for tiny babies who were still rocked to sleep. I remember copying quickly on a piece of paper the simple, basic truths of that curriculum before I knew it was a curriculum: God is good. God is big. God is strong. Jesus loves you. In my mind, I was taking ideas that I wanted to teach to my own child. What incredible concepts and foundations in such simple and small sentences. Brilliant, I thought, and I continued jotting those words on that piece of paper: God made everything. God knows everything. We need God.

A few years later, I found myself in Louisville attending Immanuel Baptist Church. I found out that they use the same curriculum. I had to teach it. And at first, my heart's intention was so that I could train my own children with it.  I remember reading the introduction to the curriculum and learning that I was to begin preparing the lesson one week in advance so that I could wrestle with it, growing my understanding of it and being led by the Spirit. I loved this intentionality and I took that advice seriously. I spent months with He Has Established a Testimony and went on to He Has Spoken by His Son.

As years went on the Lord used this curriculum to equip me, to teach me His counsel. Time after time, the lesson I was preparing for my first graders, or later my third graders and fifth graders, had been exactly what I needed to learn. Time after time, the Lord used the lessons to minister to my heart. The Lord taught me about the grumbling of the Israelites and how merciful He was and still is. The Lord taught me about His many different attributes and how majestic He is. Over and over the Lord wanted me to see His mind, His love, His presence, so that I could pass that on to the young ones in my classes with a heart full of Him. 

You see, little did I know that what God was doing was equipping me, teaching me and revealing His counsel to me so that firstly, I would know Him more and love Him more. Because what He wants is that out of a heart of love for Him we would pass His testimonies to the next generation. Deuteronomy 6:5 and 7 says, "you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” And then it says “you shall teach them diligently to your children." It is when we begin to see God, when we are full of God and His might, when we truly delight in Him, that we can communicate this truth to others.

One of my greatest joys has been getting to see glimpses of how the children connect with the truth of scripture. Sometimes I see that when their attention is held by the story being taught and they follow with their curious eyes. Other times, I see children connecting with truth through the questions they ask. The first generation of children that I started teaching is already 18 years old. I have witnessed the baptism of several of them who have put their trust in the Lord; how sweet and special it has been to know that I had a small role in proclaiming this powerful word. And the Lord has also been gracious and kind to me in saving my three children who are now 17, 14 and 11. I am beginning to see more and more the reality that we are but dust. We are but a moment; we quickly pass. But what matters is that we live for His purposes and that we proclaim this message that has been entrusted for thousands of years to our fathers. 

As the Lord Himself has allowed me to see wonders in His word, it is a privilege to make known the truths that I have seen to the children that the Lord has brought to my life. I find that as years pass, I begin to have a clearer perspective of what it means that these young children are going to become adults. They are not going to stay children forever. And the seeds that are being planted one week at a time are seeds that someone else might water. Seeds that the Lord can grow. It is a responsibility and an urgency, and it is a joy to be invited to come alongside the Lord in the short period of my life to serve His purposes.

Many generations ago, God said to Moses "gather the people to me that I may let them hear my words so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live on the earth and that they may teach their children." So, my prayer is that as we gather our children in Sunday schools and at home, the Lord lets them hear His words so that they may learn to fear Him all the days they live on earth and that they may teach their children.