We remember singing a song as children titled "This Little Light of Mine." As we sang we held up our index fingers and twirled them around. The second verse is "Hide it under a bushel, No! I'm gonna let it shine." The next verse is titled "Don't let Satan blow it out" and the last verse is "Shine my light 'til Jesus comes!" We are sure you can imagine the hand motions for each verse. (I just looked it up; you can find a Veggie Tales version of the song on YouTube)
It was a fun song to sing, but neither of us remember any Sunday school teacher of ours stopping to talk to us about what the song actually means. We encourage you to go on YouTube and play the song for your kids if you don't already know it.
What do your kids think their "light" is? If you asked your kids what they do that brings glory, praise and honour to Jesus, what do you think they would say? Have you ever told your little ones that saying "please" and "thank you" are ways to let their lights shine? Do your kids think how they treat and speak to their siblings and friends is letting their light shine? Do they realise every time they obey when asked to do something they don't want to do and when they use self-control they are letting their lights shine?
Every verse in every song means something. Let's take a look at the rest of the verses in this song.
- How do your kids hide their lights under a bushel? Many parents were working on getting their kids to greet people who speak to them. Not saying "Hi" to those you meet especially when they greet you first is definitely hiding their light under a bushel. When kids don't turn assignments in on time they are hiding their lights under a bushel. When they don't do their chores the way you have shown them or come when you call their name, they are hiding their lights. When they are not doing what they know is right, they are hiding their lights. James 4:17 says, "Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails do it, for him it is sin." (ESV) Sin covers our lights.
- What is the difference between hiding their lights under a bushel and letting Satan blow it out? Giving into temptation is letting Satan blow your light out. For teens, when all the kids are going to the movies and choosing to watch something inappropriate and your teens join in, they are letting Satan blow their lights out. When your Year-5 child is seeking the attention of the popular child at school instead of spending time with a child who is always on the sidelines, Satan has blown their light out. Satan loves it when your kids are absorbed in "Me, Me Me" because they aren't putting the needs of others first. Sleeping in, instead of having their Quiet Time/Devotions, is a biggie for Satan too. Ask your kids to think about who they are giving the victory to, Jesus or Satan.
- Shine your light 'til Jesus comes. We hope your kids know Jesus is coming again. Until that day, it is every Christian's responsibility to "Go therefore and make disciples..." (Matthew 28:19) One of the best ways to do this is to let the light of Jesus shine bright in our lives no matter our age!
"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
We would love you to join us in our Toddlerhood Transitions course so we can encourage you in your journey of parenting your younger child. “Begin as you mean to go” is a common phrase we use for this age as most of what you teach the child at this age is not rewarding now, but you will see the fruit as your child grows.
“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Gal 6:9 (NIV)
Geoff & Alicia Bongers
(Based on insights from Parenting Made Practical)
For more parenting resources check out Growing Families Australia on Facebook.