Steadfast Moms — Talking About Jesus

April 10th, 2012 Post by

Thomas Kingo, author of "On My Heart Imprint Thine Image"

On my heart imprint Thine image, Blessed Jesus, King of grace,

That life’s riches,cares and pleasures, Have no pow’r Thee to efface.

This the superscription be:  Jesus, crucified for me,

Is my life, my hope’s foundation, And my glory and salvation.

Truly a God pleasing sinner’s prayer!   A Christian mother always has her child in her heart.  Therefore she has the need to teach her child what needs to be imprinted on his heart.  A Christian mother wants to teach Jesus to him.  She wants to talk about Jesus when she sits in the home.  She wants to walk with her child by the way of Jesus as well as when they lie down and when they rise.  When a mother treasures Jesus as the King of grace as a way of life, her child will likely treasure Jesus as the King of grace for his life.

When a Christian mother talks about Jesus with her child, she establishes in the child’s mind and heart what is precious. When a child sees the family centered in God’s Word, the child learns confidence.  When a child learns God’s law and His forgiveness of sins through Jesus, he learns to trust in Jesus, the King of grace.

Part of the bed time ritual was to sing a hymn.  We often sang the above hymn.  This precious hymn was comforting for me to teach our children.  I just did not think ‘If I were a Butterfly’ was worth the time or value for my children.  I have been privileged to see the fruit of our labor in hearing our children comfortably and confidently talk theology with each other.  They often discussed issues brought about from comments in the classroom and/or schoolmates.  Listening to them confidently  encouraging one another in the Word of God was a joy and comfort!

As a Christian child grows, he associates with people outside the home. Often he sees and hears what is not acceptable in his Christian home.  When a child establishes a relationship with others outside the home, there may be times the child may question why what he hears and sees is not acceptable according to God’s Word.  This is why the Christian home must be diligent in talking theology at home.  The Christian home must be a safe haven for the child to talk and discuss what is right and wrong according to God’s Word.  The child must trust his family so he can even confess his ignorance, doubts and sin.  He must be confident that he will not be judged, but will be patiently dealt with according to God’s Word. The Christian child must be confident of the forgiveness of sins through Jesus.  When the child grows learning God’s Word in the home, he learns how to deal with life’s riches, cares and pleasures according to God’s Word.  The Christian child learns the power to battle his flesh, the devil and the world so that his Blessed Jesus, the King of grace is imprinted on his heart and will not be effaced.  That the superscription will be always on the Christian child’s heart:  Jesus, crucified for me, Is my life, my hope’s foundation, And my glory and salvation.


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  1. Elaine Stanfel
    April 10th, 2012 at 10:39 | #1

    I think there is room for “kiddy songs” along with hymns. Especially ones with actions.

    This can also lead to good discussion when they’re older about what’s appropriate for worship and maturing Christians, and what’s considered the baby food.

  2. April 10th, 2012 at 11:35 | #2

    Baby food is this:
    Q: What’s the Gospel?
    A: The Gospel is the good news.
    Q: What’s the good news?
    A: Jesus died on the cross.
    Q: That sounds like sad news! Why is that good news?
    A: He died on the cross so we can go to heaven.
    Q: But I thought only good people go to heaven. How can you go to heaven if you are a sinner?
    A: When God looks at us through the Ten Commandments, He sees that we are dirty and sinful, but when God looks at us through Jesus, He sees that we are perfectly clean like a clean white shirt.

    Now sing “Jesus Loves Me,” “I am Jesus Little Lamb,” or “On My Heart Imprint Thine Image.”

    I suppose it doesn’t hurt to have songs like “This Little Gospel Light of Mine” or “The B-I-B-L-E” to begin Sunday School, but baby food is not simply kiddy songs. Baby food is still solid theology. It isn’t corny music that under-emphasizes the gospel. Baby food is that food that still sticks with us as we grow. Baptism is baby food; otherwise we wouldn’t baptize babies. We teach them of the promise of their baptism more and more as they grow in the grace and faith of their baptism. Some people involved in the Sunday School like that corny stuff, and there is no reason to start a war. But it is at home where things really stick with us.

  3. Lumpenkönig
    April 10th, 2012 at 12:20 | #3

    It isn’t corny music that under-emphasizes the gospel.

    I cannot say I like the praise band at my church, but my wife likes that stuff during the blended worship service. Sorry, but as a man, I just cannot get myself to sing along to fluffy Christian pop songs. I hold my breath and remain silent until the hymns begin.

    To this day, I can still remember my (now deceased) mom’s voice as I sing the same hymns that we used to sing together when I was a little boy.

  4. April 10th, 2012 at 12:56 | #4

    I grew up with my grandmother and mother singing hymns with me before bed. Abide With Me sticks in my head. When my older boys were younger, “I am Jesus’ Little Lamb” was bedtime ritual. Now, with two year old twins, it is like starting over, and I find myself adding more to the routine. The Lord’s Prayer, a seasonal hymn (“On My Heart Imprint Your Image” was for Lent. “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” for Easter.) The girls can hardly speak, but they can sing!

  5. Heather Palm
    April 10th, 2012 at 19:05 | #5

    This is a beautiful picture of a Christian home! I wish that I had known such a place. I did not grow up in a home where there were any devotions or worship. My parents were sporadic about taking us to church. I often went with my Grandmother. I remember singing hymns with her in church. It is my joy to teach my children the same hymns (which is why we should stick with one translation!) It is chronological snobbery to think that all good Christian music has been composed in our own life times.

    It is the solid hymns that have preached to me in difficult times. I have never been comforted by disposable music. I am tired of entertainment being the driving force for children’s music. Look at any VBS program (even from CPH) if you doubt this. These ditties do not help teach the faith; they distract and get in the way. I often hear people say that the silly music is necessary because it makes it fun, it will make it more appealing, it is like what they see on TV, or what they hear on the radio, etc.

    A dear woman at my church fondly recalls her mother singing hymns throughout the day and while she worked. Her mother has been in Heaven for many years, but her example still is here for her daughter. Singing hymns in the home is lovely. Letting your children pick favorite hymns to sing also encourages them to sing more. Thank you for encouraging mothers to make their home a haven where faith can be nurtured. (Could you please continue this topic, recommend books, give more specific ideas for making our homes that haven?)

  6. Dort Preus
    April 11th, 2012 at 12:26 | #6

    Dear, dear Heather! What a soul sister! You have identify the snots! I don’t know if they want to show off their musical talent or what! But they are certainly causing stumbling blocks for those of us that have had crumbs in our childhood to pass on to the next generation what is one thing needful. When we have the crumbs from God’s Word and hold them precious, it is amazing what loaves of bread we end up eating! Change can be good, but only if it does not confuse the simple in the faith. We busy Mom’s are the most vulnerable. The devil loves to overwhelm the teachers in the home so God’s Word gets neglected. This hurts the Church more than anything when the children in the home are not taught and encouraged in God’s Word. Music is a valuable tool to impress upon the soul, mind and heart. If it is not broke, don’t fix it!!!

    Andrew: Thanks for showing me I didn’t waste my time. Love, Mom

  7. April 11th, 2012 at 14:36 | #7

    @Andrew Preus #2
    A reminder…this coming Sunday, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, has been traditionally called, Quasimodogeniti (one of my favorite Latin phrases!), which is the translation of beginning words of 1 Peter 2: 2, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Sem. Andrew, Yes and Amen the Lord’s pure spiritual milk of His Word for an infant is stick to the ribs food. And when we think on the verse from our Lord about receiving the Kingdom as a child, then we all will need that spiritual milk time and time again. And there is really no such thing as “an adult baptism” or an “an infant/child baptism”, there is only one Baptism…of children, because even a so-called “adult” baptism is still a baptism of a child. Quasimodogeniti

  8. April 11th, 2012 at 18:09 | #8

    It is now many years into this mothering gig that I find the lack of children’s songs in my repertoire to be a credit rather than a deficit. Nine years of Lutheran school has me singing the liturgy and hymns to my babies, because that is what my brain contains. To hear a barely-speaking babe sing the Kyrie in church warms a mother’s heart. The liturgy teaches my kiddos more than I know…I am always surprised at the theology they comprehend.
    My youngest is three, and demanded to know why our new baby wasn’t getting “Bathe-tized” on Easter (his first Sunday in Church). I’m not sure exactly how she knows, but she knows that Baptism is important, and should be done sooner rather than later. (She is patiently waiting until this coming Sunday, when all the grandparents can be present.) Our dear pastor kindly lets me choose their Baptismal hymns; LSB has some beautiful catechetical hymns with which to beautifully illustrate the gifts of Baptism to our non-Lutheran relatives. Instilling rich hymnody in our children teaches them, and will feed and comfort them throughout their lives.

  9. April 12th, 2012 at 00:19 | #9

    Angela,

    We do corporate confession and absolution in the Divine Service from our baptismal font. It is a gigantic, immovable concrete font of ever-flowing water up front, between the pews and the communion rail with two large pools flanking the main aisle up to the chancel. Speaking of little children learning theology, one of our three year old members whose family sits in the front pew often, is known to run around her home saying “Pastor Rossow forgives my sins.” It is amazing what they pick up!

  10. James Aall
    April 14th, 2012 at 16:40 | #10

    @Andrew Preus #2
    That is exactly right. Baby food is not cool aid or soda pop, it is nutritious milk filled with calcium, vitamins and minerals. Baby theological food is still solid theology.

  11. Joya
    June 30th, 2013 at 12:49 | #11

    I remember this explanation of the Gospel from Mrs. Preus’ Sunday School class and have used the basic list of questions with my children.@Andrew Preus #2

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