This is Day 29 in a 31 day series on Teaching Toddlers Theology. To catch up on where we've been, or view our menu of posts, go to this intro post.
This will be the last bible story that I'll share today! It's been fun to share some teaching tips and ideas! I know my ideas are not exhaustive and my ways of explaining things to a toddler are not the best out there! But this is what I do and have found to work with my son! I'd love to hear what things you do!
One day when Titus and I were reading his Bible together, I decided to venture past Christ's death and resurrection! (yeah, it was a first!) I'd already been sharing the Gospel with him for a while, I decided to see how much he'd understand beyond that. At that point, he was very familiar with Baby Jesus, Jesus life & ministry, and His death & resurrection. I thought it would be nice to teach him some of the practical ways we as Christians are told to live by Christ and the apostles (Plus I was just curious at what was included past Christ's death in his children's bible.)
I read to Titus about how Jesus went back into heaven, but before he did, he told his disciples a few important things. He told them that one day he would come back in the same way he was about to leave, and he would bring them back with him. He gave them the Great Commission- to go and make disciples of all nations, and that he would be with them. And He told them that the Holy Spirit was coming soon and he would give them power to do all these things.
So after I read about all that, I tried to unpackage all that for Titus so he'd understand a little better. I explained how Heaven is where God lives and that it's far away past the sky and the stars, and because Jesus is God, he needed to go back home. So went up in the sky until the disciples couldn't see him anymore. I might or might not have said Jesus "flew" just to help a toddler's brain understand, and I made it pretty dramatic by having us pretend to be disciples waving and saying, "bye Jesus" over and over. :) And then I told him that one day Jesus was going to come back to earth the same way and take us back to live with him! Then I explained that while Jesus was in Heaven, we have to be very patient and wait because he is building a big house for us to live in!
Titus got so giddy and excited about this, that he was stumbling over his words just trying to get them all out in his excitement! He loved that we get to live with Jesus in Heaven one day and that He's building a place for us to live! This was so exciting for me to see his reaction! But I wanted to make sure he knew that we get to live with Jesus in heaven because we believe that he died on the cross, that we have to respond to what God has done. It's easy with kids to make salvation general, to make it sound like everyone goes to heaven. We need to be careful of how we present the gospel and the benefits we have in Christ- we are blessed with those things because we've chosen to follow God.
I finished by telling him that while we wait for Jesus to come for us, he has a special job for us! (Titus loves special jobs!) I told him that there a lot of people who don't know who Jesus is or that he died on the cross, so our special job is to tell everyone about Him! He seemed to understand all of this and was visibly excited about it all! It's never too early to start telling people about Jesus- and sometimes kids are the best witnesses because they are so honest and up-front about God!
Even though he hasn't yet made the choice to follow God, I see his heart is so tender to spiritual things! I pray so hard that God saves his little soul and does great things with him! In the meantime, I'm going to keep teaching him all that I can about God and what His Word says!
Stick around today because I'll be sharing some big personal news + a shop update!