Taking Things a Step Further

Meditations / Pixabay

Guess what? I’m a great-grandmother!

Yes, that’s right, at the age of only 45, I have become a great-grandmother. How, you ask, especially since you may know that my oldest child is only 13?

It happened like this: Lindsey’s and Jessica’s hamsters (a boy and a girl) did, well, what hamsters do, and yesterday, Lindsey’s hamster, Wafflez, gave birth to two itty-bitty baby hamsters. Whereupon the proud father, Jessica’s hamster, Pancake, was summarily removed to another cage to live by himself so that he wouldn’t do what new-father hamsters do.

Both Lindsey and Jessica are super-excited. They each named a baby hamster—one is Cheese Puff; one is Berry—and they’ve been checking on those babies frequently. Especially Lindsey. At 10 years old, and being the kind of diligent kid that she is, she has researched everything there is to know about hamsters and their mating habits; hamster pregnancy and birth; the care and feeding of baby and new-mama hamsters; and pretty much anything else you can think of.

She’s learning a ton about science, far more than I think she would learn in a year of written curriculum. I’m glad. But if science is the only thing she learns from this experience, I will have missed an opportunity.

That’s because learning about how our world works tells us a lot about God and His ways. Even the intricacies of mathematics tell us that our God is a God of order, rules, and planning. The study of English or any other language tells us that God desires to communicate His truths to us, that He desires that we be able to communicate them to each other, and that He’s set up ways for us to do so. History allows us to see that when people follow God’s designs for how mankind relates to each other, things go well; when we don’t, they go badly.

Science, then—in this case, life science—tells us that God is an incredibly intelligent, powerful, creative God to have designed so complex a world. It illustrates to us how God planned things even down to the smallest detail, such as placing instincts within a hamster to take care of her babies in the way that will ensure their survival. It shows Lindsey that she has an opportunity to work together with God in caring for His creation, just like Adam and Eve did in the Garden.

So while I’m really proud of her for taking the initiative and learning all of these things, I don’t want her just to learn science; I also want her to learn about God. To that end, I will do my best to prompt her to think about these things. When we take our daily picture of the hamsters so that we’ll have a record of their growth, I’ll remind her that each living creature grows according to God’s plan for it. When she feeds her hamsters, I’ll point out that God has a plan for the health of every living thing. When she expresses delight over how perfect and tiny Cheese Puff and Berry are, I’ll tell her about the Bible verse that says that not even a tiny, seemingly insignificant creature is unnoticed by God (see Matt. 10:29).

You can do this too. You don’t have to be some kind of science, English, or math expert. If you know your God and know what your Bible says, you’re in a great position to illustrate God and His truth to your children every day, even in the most ordinary of circumstances. How? In any given circumstance, simply stop and ask yourself, What is God revealing about Himself through this? What does cooking, or taking out the trash, or admiring a leaf teach me about Him? Which of His glories has He chosen to show forth in a kind word, or the fact that I have a car to drive, or this cold, wintry day? How has He chosen to illustrate Scripture in the smell of coming rain or the stickiness of glue?

I bet you could think of something right now to talk about with your children, through which you could help them to know God better. No? How about the fact that you’re reading these words on some kind of device? What does that say about God and His world?

Try it this week. Pick something ordinary and talk about it with your children. You might need to give them examples of how to learn about God when they have difficulty tying their shoelaces. But if you can train them now to begin seeing God in every situation, you will have given them one of the most valuable gifts a parent can give a child.

That’s because learning how God’s world works is great, but learning about God Himself is even better.

Psalm 19:1-2—The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. (NIV)

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