“Sharkie—Teaching About God”

Learning comes in many ways. The Lecture is one of the common methods of teaching and hopefully learning. I remember the big lecture hall at St. Louis U…. a hundred or so energetic Organic Chemistry students staring glassy eyed  at the board filled with the formula for Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. Our teacher Dr. Igor speaking with an accent very similar to Dr. Victor Frankenstein of happy memory. Our lab instructor was a hunchback assistant named Fritz. In this case the lecture approach didn’t work very well. 

Other forms of learning can include watching a movie or play; I learned a few things about the French Revolution enjoying the play Les Miserables on Broadway. Just keeping your eyes open can enable a person to learn …. seeing how someone handles different situation, e.g. crises, challenges, “the thrill of victory & the agony of defeat”. Learning experiences are everywhere, if we take advantage of them.

As a parent, Judy and I were always trying to teach our children about God, using a variety of techniques. Sometimes we would use the lecture method; other times we would try games or plays. Teaching about the wonder of God’s word, I would munch on a biscuit with honey, quoting Psalm 119….”how sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Ps. 119:103) As they quoted the psalm, they got a delicious biscuit dripping with honey. Okay I admit it was a little spiritual bribery. 

Sharkey” was a game we played that would focus on the power in the name of Jesus. After dinner we would sit down on the floor of the living room. I set the scene saying, ”the shark has had a long day and is finally relaxing, taking a little nap…if you don’t bother him, he won’t bother you.” I was Sharkey and would close my eyes and go to sleep. Very soon the young kids would get too close and Sharkey would grab them and chomp on their arm…they would scream and try to get away. The only way they could gain their freedom was to cry out the name of JESUS…. and Sharkey would let them go. This would repeat itself until Sharkey got tired. The moral of the teaching was to call on Jesus when you are in trouble

I guess the point of this BLOG is that we need to do whatever it takes in passing on knowledge to others, especially to our children. Perseverance is critical as most of us need to be taught repeatedly before we actually learn something. Our example is critical to the process…. confirming what we say is important by actually doing it. “Do what I say and not what I do”, is not a good approach.

I found that if you really seek God about how to teach your children (or others), He will show you some innovative approaches. If you get excited about a new approach, then there’s a good chance the kids will be excited; if they see it’s important to you, there’s a better chance they will pay attention. If you’re bored teaching, than the kids will be drooling as they try to listen. Feel free to be a little zany or  unconventional…use props… tell a story…show a brief video… offer a bribe, I mean incentive, etc., etc., etc. 

All of us are teachers at one time or another. It may be with our children, or with the people at our job, church or community, with the person at Shoprite or the ballgame. So let’s get excited about our subject matter, especially if it’s about the Lord,  and work on our presentations. I can’t wait to listen to your next talk, I’m sure it will be exciting. And that will be very good news.

One thought on ““Sharkie—Teaching About God”

  1. I confirm that🙋‍♀️ Children capture what in your words and actions💗
    We have to pray for grace to do what the situation calls for esp when it doesn’t come naturally🙏🙌🏻


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