Kids – The best seminary study guide

dad-son.jpgA recent conversation with Little Man:

Just a Guy (JG) – So, what did you learn about in class (Sunday School) today?
Little Man (LM) – Ummm… Jesus— and Matthew.
JG – Oh, what did you you learn about Jesus and Matthew?
LM – He was a co-wek-ter— a— a…
JG – tax?
LM – Oh, yeah, a tax co-wek-ter. He was Jesus friend.
JG – Was Matthew Jesus’ disciple?
LM – No, he was a co-wek-ter— uh, tax co-wek-ter.
JG – Right, Matthew was a tax collector but when he met Jesus he became one of his disciples. Do you know any other disciples?
LM – Uh… Peter? and uh… John… and uh, Jesus…
JG – No, Jesus wasn’t a disciple… that’s silly. So, did you learn anything else in class?
LM – People didn’t like co-wek-ters but Jesus loved them… OH! I was silly (giggling). Jesus isn’t a disciple, he’s a King.

… He’s a King! Yeah, I almost wrecked the car trying to turn around and give the kid a high-5 for that gem. I love it when my son drops bombs like that one.

But, as any parents will tell you, raising kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord is no easy task. For as many times as I hear things like “Jesus is a King” I hear, “I don’t want to pray” or “I don’t want to read the bible book” or countless other things that break my heart. It is a tough job and I thank God that he is gracious and merciful to us as we seek to honor him in raising our kids.

The thing that I’ve learned most with Little Man is that kids are the best seminary study guide. See, you and I sit in a stuff classroom with some uber-genius professor and a bunch of bible nerds discussing eschatology, antinomianism, and countless other “ologys” and “isms”… but leave the classroom and I have a big “so what” for you. Does the information you learn in seminary actually translate into information that can help you be a better pastor, spouse, parent, friend?

Deep down I think that in order to get your seminary degree you should have to write a children’s book. Can you actually take all these big words and phylosophical concepts and communicate them clearly in such a way that even a child can understand?

Little Man is 3 years old right now and at least once a week we have a discussion about the trinity… uh, yeah… and, as much as I’d like to explain it using big theological words, the reality is that he is three… so, now I must not only communicate truthfully and with correct theology, but it must be in a way that a 3 year old can understand.

Now, let me say that I haven’t mastered this one yet. But every time Little Man asks me a question I am forced to not give pat answers or to change topics. I must wrestle with what I believe and how I can explain it to my son. Therefore he has become my very best study guide.

Thanks Little Man.
I love you.

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Written by
Ryan Burns
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  • JG – GREAT story, GREAT post, GREAT truth you are speaking. I totally agree. If all this about things like the geneaology of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew isnt making us better parents, pastors, friends – then what are we doing with this time in our lives?

    My wife and I are 2400 miles away from all things familiar, just like you guys. Thanks for this site bro, it is truly encouraging to peer into your lives as you stumble along…just like us. Give Little Man a high five for me too.

  • I assume (from your blog title) that you’re at Asbury. Where exactly is Asbury 2400 miles from?!?!

    Thanks for the encouragement… and I just gave Little Man your high five… though he is watching the second half of the super bowl this morning (DVR Rules), so he wasn’t too interested in my explanation of why he was getting the high five.

Written by Ryan Burns