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5 Everyday Ways to Help Your Kids See Jesus: Quina Aragon

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2023 5:15 am

5 Everyday Ways to Help Your Kids See Jesus: Quina Aragon

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 2, 2023 5:15 am

Looking for everyday, you-got-this ways to help kids see Jesus? Children's book author Quina Aragon offers practical ideas to work Jesus into your normal, chaotic life with kids.

Show Notes and Resources

Connect with Quina Aragon at quinaaragon.com, listen to her on Spotify, find her on Audible and watch her spoken word videos on YouTube.

Find Quina on social media, add her on Insta and Facebook.

And grab Quina's book,Love Can in our shop.

Check out her other books, Love GaveandLove Can on her website quinaaragon.com.

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Maybe when JL, my daughter, was a little bit younger, but when we had more time to take walks together.

But if you're in a place where you can take a walk, I love doing this with little kids. You see that tree over there? You see that bird? And depending on the age, it might just be, who do you think made that?

Who made that? When you see an item, like whether it's maybe you see a bird or you see whatever, you know the story in the Bible that's like that? And it kind of always goes back to storytelling. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson. You can find us at familylifetoday.com or on the Family Life app. This is Family Life Today.

We're going to talk about ways Christian parents can help their children find Jesus and grow. This is a big thing because as a parent, we're like, how do I do this? I want to do this.

I want to do this. I feel like I'm failing. I feel like culture is pressing in on our family.

How can we bring Jesus into our home in a way that our kids are like, what are we doing? Yeah, practical, maybe even surprising, maybe a creative. We've got a creative in the studio, and it's not us. You're creative. Everybody knows that.

I heard that guitar. Yeah, well, yeah. Anyway, we've got a real creative.

I mean, I'm an amateur. You're a pro. Kena Aragon is back with us, spoken word artist, author, speaker, mom, wife. Every time you say something, it's like, whoa, the way God's wired you is very beautiful in terms of how you speak. And so welcome back. Wow.

Thank you again for having me back. And so we invited you and we gave you a little heads up, not much, but like, hey, we're going to talk about five practical ways. And we sort of put you on the spot because we're like, you come up with three and we'll come up with two, which is only one each for us. Yeah, what's that about? And Kena, you have a daughter. How old is she? She's seven. She's seven. And so we understand. You're thinking like, wait, guys, I have a seven year old. But you've learned a lot probably. And I'm sure you have a lot of friends that you've been talking to and you're discussing. This is how we're bringing Jesus into our home and our family, to our kids.

So you can kick us off. The first one I got from my older sister because she had kids before me. And that is normalize apologizing to your kids. Normalize saying, listen, even if they don't understand, they're one, two years old.

You get on their level, you get on your knee, you get eye to eye and you say, hey, when mommy raised her voice just now and mommy got impatient, that's on me. That was mommy's heart issue and I should have been more patient. And I'm so sorry. Will you forgive me? And even when they get to that age, can you even pray for me?

Because if it's always them seeing us as the superhero, then they're going to miss the fact that Jesus is a superhero in the story of our family. And so normalize, hey, mommy doesn't have it all together either. And I need your forgiveness, too. That's part of mine. That's beautiful.

I love the way you said it, too. Normalize, apologize. Yeah. That is, that's catchy. I mean, it's like, you know, you can remember that. I got to normalize apologizing. Yeah, that's really good.

I mean, don't go to yours yet. I was just going to say that was part of mine. That was one of the things that I had written down. You're saying Kena stole yours? Basically, I said that.

Yeah. But I think I put down letting them see me repent to them, but also to Jesus. Like, let them hear my prayer. I remember one time saying to them, I said something negative. I gossiped. I said something negative about another person. I said it to my friend.

Which you never do. I told them, like, I had to call my friend and apologize to her and say, I was wrong to say that. That was gossip. You know, I shouldn't have done that.

I'm so sorry. That made this other person we know look bad. And I remember saying that to our kids. Oh, you guys, it was so hard to call. And I was so embarrassed that I did it. I was embarrassed that I had to call, but I felt like the Holy Spirit was pressing in on me. You need to talk to your friend about that.

That was wrong. And so for them to see, like, oh, Mom does that, too. I think that creates an openness in the house of saying we're not perfect and we're going to mess up and we can talk about it. And isn't it good news that Jesus forgives us and he gives us do-overs?

You know, I love that because, you know, when you think of practical ways to bring Jesus into your kids and your home, you think Bible, church, Christian school, and you guys both went totally different place. I guess I'm sitting with two creators. That's because, no, this is because I had to apologize constantly. I get mad and angry. I'm so sorry.

Mommy shouldn't have blown up like that. And I'm pretty expressive and reactionary. And so for me to go to them and they now as men, they'll talk about, hey, remember those letters we'd get from Mom of apologizing? And so I think there's... That's precious, though. But there's a good thing in that of that repentant heart.

But sometimes the enemy would take that to the point of saying, what kind of mom are you? You know, because Jesus is saying, I already forgave that. You just repent. You give it to me and it's gone. But the enemy likes to keep bringing it back up. Have you found that? Oh, yeah.

At least, like, yeah, he calls you names. You're going to mess your kids up so bad. They'll never walk with Jesus. You're just going to repeat that cycle.

Yes. The generational sin, you're not changed. Ooh, that's like one of my biggest fears, you know? And then I feel like Satan does capitalize on that moment and say, see?

See, that was just like when you were a kid. You saw the fear in her eyes. You just did that to her.

She's going to be scarred for life. So how have you dealt with that? When you get to that point, what do you do? Again, I go to my daughter. I genuinely do apologize for her. I say, that's not you. That's on me.

I was being impatient. I just want you to know that that's never okay for anyone to do that. It's not okay for me to do that. But then when Satan is whispering- And then when Satan is whispering, I do, yeah, I'll pray, but I'll also talk to my husband. He's a great place to kind of softly land and to be like, I feel like I'm the worst mom in the world. And, oh, no, I'm just turning into this monster.

I'll say the dark things, right? And he'll have this phrase now at this point, we've been married about eight years. And he'll be like, I'm not afraid of you.

Because I'll be so self-loathing in that mode of if you hear what's really going on in this dark mind, you're going to be out of here. And he'll go, I'm not afraid of you. And he doesn't mean that in a mean way. He means that in a, I welcome that because I'm here to remind you who you actually are in Christ. That you are not these things and that your repentance is showing the gospel.

It is ministering. Not that we want to be hurting our kids, but when it inevitably happens. Well, what is the best thing we husbands can do when our wives are expressing the two things you two are talking about? I think your husband just models it.

Is that it? Yeah, he models it a lot. But we've also learned because, and I'm not trying to stereotype all men or anything like that. But he wants to fix it a lot of times. And so we've had to learn for him to say, do you want me to just listen right now? Or do you want me to speak into that? So ask the question.

What do you need right now? And it's a little uncomfortable at first to kind of exercise that muscle. But then I see that as like, oh, well, he's being very gracious because he naturally, his heart is I want to help my wife.

But what would help her right now? Is it just listening, holding her? Yeah. Is it speaking life into that? And sometimes it's just, I just want you to listen right now. And I think God is a great listener. That's good. And we see that in Scripture, but God can also speak into things. And so I feel like him offering that question helps out a lot. That's great. I have found myself to where in Scripture when it says to take every thought captive, I think I was in captivity because I would let those thoughts linger and I would play with the thoughts of I am terrible and this will happen. And it doesn't do any good. That's not from the father.

And so I've learned to give those thoughts to the father. Okay. We've got one. Normalize, Apologize. That's one.

Normalize, Apologize. I like that. You got another one? No, I'm going to you.

Well, mine feels so lame compared to that. That was like deep and I mean, one of the first things I thought it's like if you want to share your faith, lead your family, bring Jesus into your home. One of the things I've done over the years that I feel like is helpful is when I when I'm listening to a sermon, when I'm listening to a podcast and I'm really thinking like when I'm in church and there's a message being given, I take notes on my phone. And when I preach, I get on people like, why is nobody taking notes?

80% of the congregation will sit there. So you shame them. Yeah, I shame them.

I know I'm shaming them. I'm like, do you realize you're going to remember more? Just if you write something down.

That's true. Today, obviously, I do it on my phone and I go to my notes and I'll take notes on it. And why am I telling you this? Because then I share it.

So, you know, I sat like Sunday. I was at church and I'm taking notes and I'm like, this is powerful. And like, okay, I'm sending this to my boys. I'm sending this to men that I know.

But again, it's just the way it's like, this isn't just about me learning and growing. If I'm a dad, I'm a husband, a wife, a mom, I've got people that I can share this with. And I've done that with, you know, when I was Detroit Lions chaplain, I would even say to the guys at chapel, anything I'm saying that you want, I've got my notes. I'll text it to you. So everybody in the room would say, text me that entire message.

And so it was a way to just take what I'm learning and what God's saying to me and teaching me and sharing it. We live in a digital world where that makes it so easy. That's why I don't write notes because it's so much harder unless you take a picture and then send it.

But I'm always doing it digitally. Mine was super similar to that. Is this the third one?

Because we've got two out of five. Well, no, it's kind of the same because mine was talking to the kids about everything Jesus is teaching me. So it's basically the same thing. And when I'm not overflowing and talking about something God has done or Jesus said or he's doing in my life, I realize, oh, I'm not tapping into him, which is so easy for all of us to do. But for me, it was a little bit of a, it was like a temperature gauge, like I'm not connected to the Father. And I think one of the things that I've really liked doing is sharing with them stories of what God did that day. And you know this, whether I paid for someone's lunch or I paid for someone's groceries. I want them to see that our love for Jesus is something that's active.

It's not passive. It's something that compels us as we love people and we see people, we notice them, we say things to them that God would say. I wanted that to be a normal part of the Christian life. See, I get teary talking about it. I was going to say, you're getting teary about what part of that. This is all we're doing here today.

We're just crying. Was it the passing on to your children or the preaching out and touching people? I think it's one of the greatest joys that God can give us is when we love and see people the way he would do that. And I don't feel like I was good at that growing up because I was so self-centered that I couldn't be other-centered and see the beauty in the people around me, whether they're Christian or not, it doesn't matter.

Even if it's a homeless person sitting on the street and saying, I see you. And letting our kids see that that's normal in the Christian life. We've got two. We're back to Kena. Well, that's kind of two and a half, three. Two and a half, two point five. Yeah, there you go. Two point five, I like it. We're halfway done. I have one that I was thinking about maybe when JL, my daughter, was a little bit younger, but when we had more time to take walks together.

But if you're in a place where you can take a walk, I love doing this with little kids. You see that tree over there? You see that bird? And depending on the age, it might just be, who do you think made that? Who made that? Oh, God made that.

Did you know he made- Wait, Mommy, did he actually make the sky t- And, you know, just continuing. I think about, was it in Deuteronomy where he talks about as you rise, as you sit. Deuteronomy six. As you walk.

It's the Word of God. So I've taken that a bit to heart. Literally, we'll go walk and I love nature. So, you know, walking and being able to talk about, can you believe God made all these different kinds of leaves or these kinds of, you know, depending on where you live, you can point to anything. So I like that.

And then also with that, maybe this will round out the point, other point five. But when you see an item, like whether it's maybe you see a bird or you see whatever, you know, the story in the Bible that's like that. And it kind of always goes back to storytelling. Oh, that's good. You know, that reminds me of this story and making it not about, I teacher, you student, you must now listen and receive my wisdom. It's not like this. That was my authority voice.

So I'm saying, don't do that. I'm saying, come side by side and say, man, that reminds me of this one story in the Bible. Have you heard of- You're such a good storyteller. Your voice is so good. When she was reading parts of her book, weren't you like, I wish she would read like that to me every night.

If someone wants me, like I would love that. Like I love, we're reading through Chronicles of Narnia right now at night. Maybe that's the other, is read through some good literature that will kind of spark that conversation. Well, you know, I've got one.

Get Kena's books and read them with your kids. Is this number four? I'm not mad at that one. Okay, let's say that.

That could be one reading. Yeah, though. Yeah.

I did it. Every night we would do this with our boys. We'd lay in our bed.

Sometimes all three were in my bed or I'd take turns with them. But especially reading some literature like the Chronicles of Narnia. Those are so good. I know. And then I cry. And then we just finished Lion Witch in the wardrobe. And when it talks about when Aslan dies and how Susan and Lucy felt the darkness and the pain and like, you'll never be happy again.

The way C.S. Lewis describes it, of course, I started crying while I read. I was like, baby, I'm sorry. I just started crying. And amazingly, as a seven year old, she was like, it's okay.

You can cry. And I was like, wow, something that we've been trying to teach her is actually settling in. And that's encouraging. But the being able to have those resources is such a privilege to have the literature that we have. Just a wealth of whether it's picture books or storybooks, whatever it may be. Those things, again, it keeps going back to story, I feel like. Oh, definitely.

And I could throw in movies as well. That same thing, utilize video. And talk. And you got a phone.

You can pull it right up on your phone any day and say, let's talk about that. That's really good. Okay. Got another one?

Do you? It's your turn. Live it. That's good.

We wrote about it in our No Perfect Parents book. But, you know, faith is caught rather than taught. You can teach all you want and that's good.

And we should. And we should open the Word and we should do it. But they're going to follow what you live. And so I'm not having to do this because I'm supposed to lead my family. It's like, no, this is just who I am and it's coming out and I'm in the Word. And because I'm in the Word, God's speaking to me and I have something to give. You cannot give away what you don't first possess. So I would just say, man, that is the greatest thing you could ever do. Live it. And, you know, instead of looking at your kids like they've got to get this, look in the mirror and say, am I getting this?

Because if I'm getting it, it'll get passed on. That's good. All right. I guess we only have one more left. Joy. Bring joy into your home. I know that I could say Jesus, but Jesus is joy. So bring joy in Jesus into your home. I mean, in James, when it says, consider it all joy.

My brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that I'm thinking of you, Kena, because you've gone through a lot, knowing that the testing your faith will produce endurance, you'll be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But there's something about when our kids see us, even through trial, there's a contentment and a joy in our, that we're looking to Jesus. So that's part of it. But the other part is just having fun as a family. Yeah. We had fun.

Yeah. We would do things that our kids, our neighbor kids would hang out at our house all the time because we were doing crazy stuff. You know, we'd have these water gun fights where we're running down the streets. You were playing sports with the kids. We were playing street hockey, capture the flag. We would toilet paper our friends' houses as they got older because they want to do something risky. In a modest way.

We didn't destroy the house. No. Right, right, right. But they're little. Shaving cream, slip and slide.

Yeah. Last day of school was shaving cream, slip and slide. I want to go to your house. In that way, when I used to drive around our cul-de-sac in our car, just going around and around, one time I parked the car sideways in the driveway. So it's turned sideways and the kids are like, what are you doing? Like, let's go in the house and see which neighbor calls first to say, what are you doing? So we were maybe three minutes. It was immediate. Oh my goodness. And we knew, we all guessed like, who's the coppers? What's wrong with your minivan?

Why is it parked sideways? And I was like, oh, okay. Oh my goodness. And this is bad.

This is when they got into like middle school, high school, where we're going through a drive-through. This is super late at night. So the lines aren't very long, but I took this sticky note.

This is terrible. I'd probably get in trouble for this. Sticky note and wrote on the sticky note, I had a Sharpie with me. It said, speak loud. Right where the sticker is. It said like speaker broken.

I don't know if I said speaker broken because that'd be lying. So she put it on the microphone for the drive-through and then they went inside to listen to people. And so we go inside, this is like 10 o'clock at night and they're screaming, I want a hamburger! And the people are, the workers are like, what is, why are they screaming? You know, and we're shaking, we're laughing so hard.

Oh my goodness. And so there's parts of that that I wanted our kids to know. We love Jesus and this isn't this boring place. We have joy. We want this to be a place that attracts everybody because that love and the joy that Jesus brings is something that's contagious.

Yes. That same hospitality that the family that, where I first heard the gospel that they showed me, that's something that I've been trying to emulate as well in the neighborhoods we've lived in. And one of the biggest privileges to me is when one of the middle school girls in my old neighborhood called me, multiple ones of them saying, you're like my neighborhood mom. I'm gonna come talk to you about my stuff and you know, I just, our doors are open.

My husband and I have been, had a big, you know, kind of hospitality policy. Like if they're neighbors, like you're welcome in just, we might have a messy day, we may have a rough day, we might have a great day, but you're welcome into our space, you know. And I think what happens as our kids get older, we've shared this a few times, but their friends are hurting and they have stories when you're open and as you're watching your kids' friends just to sit down and say, you know, just kind of where you were at, Kena, like, hey, you know, it seems like life feels heavy to you. Am I correct? Can I pray for you? Is anything going on?

Man, these teenagers will cry and they may not pour it out to their parents, but sometimes they'll pour it out to you. Oh yeah. Yeah.

That's so true. Really? Yeah.

My mom could have been telling me the same exact thing that you told me, but when you said it, I'm like, do you realize, hmm, this is a good point and, and just open up to others, so. Ooh, I'd like to live on your street. Isn't she cool? I want to do the water gun fight. That would actually... Do it. Yeah.

I might take some of these ideas. We had one little girl that lived on the corner. I think maybe they're in the fourth grade. She comes to our house and we're going, we're going toilet paper tonight. Everybody get in the car and she's, she raises her hand and she goes, um, could I come with you? And so I'm like, well, we have to call your mom. And so she gets on the phone and she, she goes, my mom doesn't believe me because Dave's the pastor, you know, so I get on the phone and I'm like, hey, yeah, we're going to go toilet paper. And she goes, I thought, I thought you guys were nice, like Christian people. Like, yeah, we're just going to toilet paper our friend's house. We do this to each other all the time. It's really fun.

Your daughter will be safe. She goes, okay, I guess that's hilarious. I love that. Joy is contagious and you want people to come to Christ. If you have real joy, not fake, but it's an overflow joy. They're going to be drawn to that.

That's true. Okay. This is a big ask, but we would love it if you could read to us Love Can, the whole book. I would love that.

That would be my honor. I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Kena Aragon on Family Life Today. You know, I'm really excited because we get to hear Kena read her entire book, Love Can, here in just a second.

It's going to be amazing. Grab the kids, gather around and we're about to hear her read it, the author herself. Well, she has written this book called Love Can, a story of God's superpower helper.

It's beautifully illustrated. It talks about how the Holy Spirit works inside our hearts to allow us to love like God does. This book will deepen your child's faith and encourage him or her to choose love in all situations.

You could pick up a copy of it at familylifetoday.com. And you know, I as a parent myself, I am always trying to instill things like character, help my kids build relationships and nurture identity in them. My kids are 12 and 9 and so I'm always trying to find ways to do that without just giving speeches to them, which sometimes they're getting to that age now where they're like rolling their eyes when I talk to them about these things. Well, all this month, when you become a financial partner with Family Life, we want to thank you with something special to help form character, build relationships and nurture identity in your kids.

When you partner with us, we're going to give you a copy of the game Ferret Flush. It's a fun game to help connect with your kids and teach them those important things at the same time. So in addition to that, you're going to get our online course, The Art of Parenting. This is a video series with sessions to help you deal with like common obstacles in raising your children, help instill character, discipline, relationships, integrity, comes with lots of speakers like Brian La Ritz, Paul David Tripp, David A. Wilson and lots of others who provide great content to help you raise your kids in the way God would have you do it. So you can donate now at familylifetoday.com or you can call 800-358-6329. And that number is 800-F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. We also wanted to let you know that we accept contributions via mail.

You can simply send your donation to Family Life, 100 Lakehart Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32832. All right, this is it. I'm ready to hear Kena Aragon read her book, Love Can. Okay, you ready kids?

We're ready. Before God made the heavens and the earth, He lived in perfect joy. He delighted in Himself, one forever existing perfect being, Father, Son, and Spirit, all one. But God wasn't done. The Father made us with love, but we turned away, so He gave us His Son so we could be saved. Then before Jesus died and rose and went back to heaven, He promised His friends He'd send a superhero helper to live inside of them, His Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God, just like the Father and the Son. You can't see Him, but He's not hiding from us. Have you ever felt the wind blow on your face? Have you seen trees bend in a hurricane? You can't see the wind, but you can see what it does, and you can't see the Spirit, but you can know He's around.

How? The superpower of love. Now, if you're anything like me, you sometimes dream about having a superpower or two or three like super strength or super speed or invisibility or jumping over buildings, flying, mind reading, time traveling. But what if you had the superpower to love, and I mean to love so much that your love made you look a lot like Jesus? You see, the Spirit's got a super huge superhero job.

He's been doing it from the start. The Holy Spirit connects us to God's loving heart. Can you imagine the love God has for His Son? It's deeper than the ocean, wider than the sky.

It's higher than mountains. But here's the surprise. That same love God has for His Son, Jesus, He has for every one of us who believes in Him.

Don't you see? God is love. The Father, the Spirit, the Son, and love loved so much. Love came to live in us.

The Spirit helps us believe in Jesus and tell others about Him too. He gives us the superpower to show all the things love can do. Love can be patient when waiting in line. Love can be kind when no one is nice. Love can share even when it's hard. Love can be honest and not tell a lie. But perhaps the toughest thing love can do? Love can forgive when others hurt you. So what do you think? Can you love like that all by yourself? Or do you think you might need some superpower help? I know I can't, and neither can you, but God is love, and love can. It's true. That's why God gave us His Spirit. So with love in us, we can love too. Family Life today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-02 07:27:21 / 2023-08-02 07:40:11 / 13

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