By LaVondilyn J. Watson
Is teaching faith-based principles using Scripture-quoting hand-puppets and felt -cloth characters a thing of the past? Perhaps. I’d like to think they’ve been replaced by computer software, applications and smart boards, but they haven’t. Sadly, “Sunday School” has become antiquated – many kids don’t even attend anymore. And, in many homes, the focus on getting a quality education no longer includes a spiritual one.
But, there are countless benefits of children learning spiritual principles early in life. And, many of those benefits directly affect their secular school experience. So, it just might be a good idea to send your children back to “Sunday School” – sooner rather than later.
Here are five bonafide reasons to send your children back to “Sunday School”
- They learn how to effectively interact with others. “”Love your neighbor as yourself” is one of the two commandments Jesus stressed in Matt22:37-40, and learning it and putting it into practice can change the way your children interact with others at school.”Loving your neighbor” means respecting and accepting their differences, acknowledging their strengths and helping them with their weaknesses. It means working and playing together in unity and showing the fruit of the Spirit at all times – notably kindness, goodness, and self-control. Children who learn and practice “loving their neighbor” simultaneously learn to share, apologize, forgive, respect and accept one another!
- They learn how to submit to authority. When children first learn to submit to their Father in Heaven and their father at home, submitting to teachers and principals come naturally. The act and posture of prayer teaches humility. Being quiet and reverent in the sanctuary teaches respect. Learning to “honor your father and mother so that you may live long…” is a promise that yields great results! (Ex20:12) It really is true that if you “train a child in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not turn from it.” (Prov22:6) Teach them to submit themselves to God, their parents and Sunday school teachers and they’ll submit to authority in any environment you place them in – including day school.
- They learn how solve problems. Wonder how much more diligent children would be when faced with challenging work or circumstances if they learned regularly that “everything is possible to him who believes”?(Mark9:23) They’d probably keep trying with dogged determination and simply refuse to give up in those subjects which present the most challenge for them. And how much more effective would they be at school work if they knew how to pray before tests, presentations and projects? Often referred to as the “sixth sense”, that intuition or inner wisdom that many adults rely on to solve problems comes directly from the spirit within – and that same spirit rests within your school-aged children!
- They learn how to love and value themselves. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so” still resonates with many adults after many years! That truth causes children to see value in themselves and know that no matter what, they are loved. They learn to never feel alone, and never feel unloved because Jesus loves them. In “Sunday School”, they learn they bear the image of God and they “fearfully and wonderfully made”. (Ps139:14) When the seeds of love and value are sown early, a healthy self-esteem is the end result.
- They learn how to both belong and accept. And, not only does “Jesus love me”, He also “loves the little children, all the children of the world” – another song that lasts a lifetime in the hearts and minds of God’s children of all ages! Children who attend “Sunday School” learn to model the ways of Jesus and love others of different races and cultures – those that look, speak, eat, and dress differently than they do. Belonging and acceptance of others comes from first knowing that you belong and that you are accepted just as you are. What teaches that better than the Gospel?
Children are dealing with major problems at school – bullying, sexuality, self-esteem, acceptance, peer pressure, learning challenges, and more – why not spiritually equip them? Some of the fundamental lessons learned very early in the church help to prepare school-aged children for many of the pressures they’ll experience at school! If they learned these godly principles and implemented them on a daily basis, perhaps they would begin to set a higher standard in the hallways of their schoolhouses. And, maybe, just maybe, they’re spiritual education will make their secular education more effective. Instead of going “back to school”, going back to Sunday school just might make all the difference in the world…literally.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:4
LaVondilyn J. Watson
Contributing Writer, B.L.O.G. Magazine
LaVondilyn J. Watson coaches women of faith, just like you, on tapping into their faith to overcome obstacles, live their lives on purpose and bring glory to God through their living! For a free 60-minute coaching on “How to Respond When Trouble Comes,” join her online community at www.EncourageTheKingdom.com.