There is a short phrase that I have passed over numerous times in reading the story of the crucifixion of Jesus (John 18:18) that says “Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.” Not the verse that you would typically think of for Easter, right? However, I think about this when parenting my boys.
There are 2 versions of Peter we see in the Bible, pre-resurrection Peter and post-resurrection Peter. Pre-resurrection Peter frequently acted like a know-it-all (as when he pulled Jesus aside to rebuke him) but deep down was very cowardly (his denial of Jesus 3 times). He was just standing around “warming himself” while Jesus was facing his undeserved execution. Post-resurrection Peter surrendered his life to the Lord and led many to Christ as well as facing his own horrific death. He went from a fisherman of fish to a fisherman of men.
We have the option of choosing which Peter we will be like when raising our children and talking with them about Jesus. Do we act like know-it-alls when we are around other Christians, but behind closed doors at home become timid and afraid to teach our own children? Or, do we openly proclaim and live it in front of our families? Are we fishing for our children’s souls? I was listening to a wonderful speaker this week and in paraphrasing, he said that the best Bible teachers are moms and dads—not the pastor, the Sunday school teachers, or the youth groups, but MOM AND DAD! What a huge responsibility that is and as parents, teaching is not always comfortable, especially when we don’t have all of the answers, but it is necessary.
My challenge to families today and tomorrow: have an open conversation with your kids about what Easter really means. Forget the bunny and the eggs—talk about the HUGE sacrifice that Jesus made. If they have questions, but you don’t have answers, look them up together. Try reading John chapters 18-20 with them (or at least some tidbits).