My son called to me in a stressed and urgent tone, “Mom! I need a big eraser!”
I left him working on a drawing and came back into the room just as he started to get frustrated.
“What’s wrong, buddy?” I asked.
He went on to show me how the eyes were “all wrong” on the character he was drawing. As I retrieved the eraser and helped him return his paper to a blank slate by erasing the eyes he had just drawn, we talked about what needed to happen to make the eyes “right.”
The Artist and the Art
I shared with him that when illustrators are working on a book, they spend countless hours drawing and redrawing the same illustrations over and over. We talked about how making a perfect drawing takes time and practice. He was relieved to hear that he wasn’t the first person to mess up trying to make an eye look just right in a drawing. But he was also a little frustrated to know that he still had more work ahead of him if he wanted to improve his drawing.
After he had returned to drawing, I shared one more big truth with him: God makes everything perfectly on the first try. When God created Adam’s eyes, they turned out just how He wanted them to. This quick moment of frustration over a drawing created an opportunity for my son and me to be in awe of how amazing it is that God doesn’t need to practice and practice and practice. This same God loves us and made humans perfectly on the first try too! This same God loves us so much that when humans disobeyed Him and were no longer perfect, He sent Jesus to die for our sins. God doesn’t need an eraser for His mistakes. He erases our sins in Jesus. How cool!
As I raise my children, these moments are some of my favorites. Weaving God’s story of love for them in their everyday life is tedious (sometimes) and priceless.
Maybe you are reading this right now wondering how to have these same conversations with your children. Maybe you are thinking you wish you had an eraser for some of the ways you have chosen to respond to your children. (I know I do!) Here are three thoughts to encourage you as you go through your own experiences and conversations.
1. Repetition Matters
Just like any other skill you have taught your child, instilling God’s big truths in their hearts and minds takes practice. There is never a bad time to repeat the reminder of God’s love for them. There is relief in knowing there is a reason for their struggles to share or listen (sin) and that they are not left alone in that struggle (grace and forgiveness).
2. Trust in the Work of the Holy Spirit
The effectiveness or impact of the words you speak as you teach your children about their faith or share a Bible story are not dependent solely on you. The Holy Spirit is at work through you and in your child. God promises us that His Word is always at work.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10–11)
3. God Doesn’t Need an Eraser
At creation, everything was good. God didn’t look at anything and say, “Give Me the eraser. I need to try that again.” If you are anything like me, those are some of my exact thoughts after responding to my children at times. Sometimes we nail our responses, and sometimes we need that big eraser. Through Jesus’ work on the cross, God doesn’t just erase your sins. He takes them away as far as the east is from the west. He doesn’t stop there. He continues to pour out His Spirit on you through His Word to empower you with the fruit of the Spirit.
The more you share the Gospel, the more it will become a natural part of your verbal response to your day with your children. It might feel silly the first time you try talking about sin being a cause of a struggle in your home, but over time, it will become a natural part of your posture toward the day.
Whether you use this calendar to teach your little ones that God doesn’t need an eraser or that He will continually forgive us, know that God’s Word will accomplish its purpose in your life.
Encourage daily faith activities with the free Everyday Faith Calendar.