Revisiting Conversations With My Daughter, Part One

Last fall, I shared about my first-grade daughter’s spiritual questions and desire to please God. I shared how I responded (twice) by trying to explain grace. I shared the gospel with her using 1 John 1:9. The initial conversation lasted ten minutes or less.

It is this last part I want to revisit. Since the fall, I’ve been working my way through two books and doing some heavy thinking (at least for me). Both books deal with our understanding of 1) Jesus and 2) the gospel. Over the next few months, my plan is to dig through the goldmine of these two books and pull up the heaviest nuggets I can, and share the ideas that have been sparked in me through them.

Here’s one of the ideas as it relates to my previous conversation with my daughter: I am foolish to think a ten minute conversation is enough to impart the gospel to her. That the story of God can be explained in one verse and subsequently grasped by a six year-old.

Imagine you’re having “the birds and bees” convo with one of your kids. Do you just bring up the subject one time because they’ve reached a certain age and from there on avoid those topics like the plague? You did your job, so now for sure your kid won’t take any missteps or need any ongoing support or advice from you?

Of course we don’t think that would be good enough! The conversation can’t start then end when a child has reached “a certain age.” We have to have mini-conversations along the way: appropriate, timely and relevant to where they are. Sexuality is a complex issue and affects us on many levels.

Isn’t the gospel even more complex? Affecting us on every level? How do you explain an issue like depravity? Or a concept like grace? I don’t have all the answers, but I know you can’t do it justice if you’re limited to one verse or only ten minutes.

And can these concepts (and the gospel itself) be explained or understood apart from the context of story? The context of The Story?

I believe we lose something when we explain the Plan of Salvation without going into The Story the Plan comes from. Salvation must always be tied to the Story of Jesus, and the Story of Jesus is best understood in its context within the whole story of the Bible.

I can’t cram that into a ten minute conversation. And I probably shouldn’t even try.

  • Linda Bordeaux

    But those ten minutes times two and the many, many minutes you both have spent all of her life living out and explaining grace and The Story are invaluable. So I have to disagree when you say you probably shouldn’t try. The Holy Spirit is in charge of capturing the seeds sown and He will be moving to provide the “sunshine, water, and soil” necessary for those seeds to sprout with new life. Do I, 52 years after asking Christ to save me, fully grasp The Story and all the grace that God has lavished on me? No, and that’s why we have to keep living close to Him.

    • Tim

      I think we’re on the same page here, Mom. What I was trying to say was I shouldn’t think one solitary conversation is enough. I shouldn’t try to pack the gospel into one 10-minute conversation – it’s way too big for that. Instead I should always be looking to have these kinds of conversations. So I agree with you, and you agree with me. :)

  • Louis Tullo

    A ten minute conversation is indeed inadequate, but we serve the true, living God who is more than adequate to impart truth and understanding, even to a first grader. :) As you faithfully read the Bible with her, pray for her soul, and train her up in the way the Word instruct you, God will have an open door to speak into her life. Reading your post is one of the many examples of why this world needs more godly men than ever – husbands and fathers who will lead their families spiritually in a world that fights to destroy them. Bless you Tim and I will most certainly be praying that God speaks to your daughter’s heart.

    • Tim

      I agree, Louis. And I appreciate you praying for my daughter. That means a lot.

  • Dan Black

    Having an on going conversation about the gospel is so essential, it can’t just be a one time thing. I also think praying that God would revel Himself to your child is important. Sharing the gospel is a journey. Great thoughts.

    • Tim

      Hi, Dan. For some reason your comment was marked as spam. I just found it. Thanks for your encouraging words and for stopping by.

  • Joe Abraham

    Good post, Tim!

    It’s great that you are investing time with your daughter to share the Good News!

    You may not have communicated the “theology” of grace within 10 minutes to your daughter. However, I believe, those 10 minutes helped her to get a feel of the “atmosphere” of grace! And that’s a good start.

    • Tim

      I like how you put that, Joe, and I agree. Thanks for stopping by!