Parenting is a complex job with many important tasks. I feel very strongly that one of the most important tasks for the Christian parent is saturation. But before you go get the hose to soak your kids to the bone, let me explain. Saturation is the concept of making our home environment so rich with the presence of God that one could not deny His existence or place in our lives. Saturation is something that permeates, prepares and protects. When we saturate our home life with the presence of God, He no longer becomes reserved for just Sundays and bedtime prayers. He becomes the center.
Unfortunately though, it seems that life has a way of edging out the things of God. We need to work very hard to keep Him at the center. This is where saturation comes in. And just so you don’t think this is just something I came up with on my own, read this:
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
Now that’s some serious saturation.
Christmastime is a perfect time for saturation. Look around you. There are stars and angels and manger scenes everywhere. The words “joy” and “peace” are hung from the ceiling of your local big box store. If we can stop and take it all in for a moment, we can see that opportunities abound for us to soak in and overflow with the presence of God.
Opportunities abound for us to soak in and overflow with the presence of God.
I have recommended this resource before, but I think it bears repeating. Over at Ministry to Children, there is a great little free printable that has all the symbols of the Christmas season with a God-centered twist. You can go through this booklet with your kids as a formal activity, or better yet, sprinkle the truths it contains throughout your days.
- When you hang a wreath: Remind them that just like the wreath has no beginning or end, neither does God’s love.
- When you see a star on a Christmas card: Tell them that just like stars shine in the dark, so are we to shine our light in a dark world to make a difference for Jesus.
- When you make cookies together: Let them know that just like the dough is shaped, so God is constantly working in us to shape us into the form that He has in store for us.
- When they enjoy a candy cane: Ask them if they can think of ways that the candy cane symbolizes God or Jesus.
The truth of the matter is that you will never be able to make your children believers. What you can do though, is to saturate their environment with the love of God so that they will have every opportunity to learn of His goodness, faithfulness and mercy for their souls.
It reminds me of the old adage: “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”
But I suspect if you stand the horse in the middle of a lake, at some point, he’s going to get thirsty.