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

with Quina Aragon | August 2, 2023
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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.

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Looking for everyday, you-got-this ways to help kids see Jesus? Children’s book author Quina Aragon offers practical ideas.

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

With Quina Aragon
|
August 02, 2023
| Download Transcript PDF

Quina: Maybe when Jael 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? 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 whether it’s maybe you see a bird or whatever, do you know a story in the Bible that’s like that? And it kind of always goes back to storytelling.

Shelby: Welcome to FamilyLife 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 FamilyLife® app.

Ann: This is FamilyLife

 

Dave: Today!

Ann: 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 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?’” [Laughter]

Dave: Yes practical and maybe even surprising, maybe a creative. We’ve got a creative.

Ann: Yes.

Dave: Quina Aragon is back with us. Spoken word artist, author, speaker, mom, wife - welcome back.

Quina: Wow. Thank you again for having me back.

Ann: Quina you have a daughter, how old is she?

Quina: She’s seven.

Ann: She’s seven and so we understand you’re thinking, “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 into our family and to our kids.

Dave: So you can kick us off.

Quina: The first one I got from my older sister because she had kids before me and that is normalize apologizing to your kids.

Ann: Mmm

Quina: Normalize saying, listen even if they don’t even 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, when 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?” Because if it’s always them seeing us as the super hero then they’re going to miss the fact that Jesus is the super hero in the story of our family. So normalize, “Hey mommy doesn’t have it all together either, and I need your forgiveness too.”

Dave: Hey–don’t go to yours yet.

Ann: I was just going to say it was part of mine. That was one of the things I had written down.

Dave: You are saying, “Quina stole yours is that what you’re saying?”

Ann:  Basically I said that yes. But I think I put down letting them see me repent-

Quina: Yes.

Ann: –to them but also to Jesus. Like let them hear my prayer. 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. Isn’t it good news that Jesus forgives us and He gives us do-overs?”

Quina: Yes.

Dave: You know I love that because when you think of practical ways to bring Jesus into your kids and into your home you think Bible, church, Christian school, and you guys both went totally different place. [Laughter] I guess I’m sitting with two creatives. [Laughter]

Ann: It’s because no, it’s because I had to apologize constantly. I’d get mad and angry, “I’m so sorry. Mommy shouldn’t have blown up like that,” [Laughter] you know?

Quina: Yes, yes

Ann: But there’s a good thing in that, 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 He’s already forgiven that but the enemy likes to keep bringing it back up. Have you found that?

Quina: Oh yes.

Ann: He calls you names. You’re going to mess your kids up so bad. They’ll never walk with Jesus

Quina: Yes, you’re just going to repeat that cycle.

Ann: Yes - generational sin, you’re not changed.

Quina: Yes, yes that’s - Oh that’s one of my biggest fears you know.

Dave: What

Quina: I feel like Satan does capitalize on that moment and say, “See, that was just like when you were a kid.”

Ann: Yes.

Quina: You saw the fear in her eyes? You just did that to her. She’s going to be scared for life.”

Ann: So how have you dealt with that? When you get to that point, what do you do?

Quina: Yes, I’ll pray, but I’ll also talk to my husband. He’s a great place to kind of softly land to be like, “I feel like I’m the worst mom in the world and 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 now about eight years and he’ll be like, “I’m not afraid of you,” and he doesn’t mean that in a mean way-

Ann: Yes, yes.

Quina: He means it 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.

Dave: Well what is the best thing we husbands can do when our wives are expressing the two things you just were talking about?

Ann: I think your husband just modeled it.

Dave: Is that it?

Quina: Yes 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. 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?”

Quina: He’ll ask.

Ann: Dave will say, “What do you need right now?”

Quina: And it’s a little uncomfortable at first to kind of exercise that muscle but then I see that as he’s being very gracious because he naturally–his heart is, “I want to help my wife,”

Ann: Yes.

Quina: I feel like him offering that question helps out a lot.

Dave: That’s great. Okay we’ve got one [Laughter] normalize, apologize. That’s one

Quina: Normalize, apologize. I like that.

Dave: You’ve got another one?

Ann: I’m going to you.

Dave: I mean one of the first things I thought, it’s 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”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 I’ll go to my phone and I’ll take notes on it and why am I telling you this? Because then I share it. It’s Sunday and I’m at church and I’m taking notes and thinking this is powerful and I’m like, “Okay, I’m sending this to my boys. I’m sending this to men that I know.” But again it’s just a way. It isn’t just about me learning and growing if I’m a dad, a husband, a wife, a mom, I’ve got people that I can share this with. I’ve done that when I was the Detroit Lions Chaplain. I would even say to the guys at chapel, “Anything that 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.”

Quina: Yes.

Dave: It was a way to take what I’m learning and what God is 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, I’m always doing it digitally.

Ann: Okay, mine was super similar to that.

Dave: Is this the third one because we have two out of five

Ann: Well, no it’s kind of the same because mine was talking to the kids about everything Jesus is teaching me

Dave: –hmm

Ann: So it’s basically the same thing. When I’m not overflowing and talking about something God has done or Jesus has said or that He’s doing in my life, I realize, Ohh, I’m not taping in to 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 of, “Ahh, I’m not connected to the Father.”

I think one of the things that I really like 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.

Quina: Yes, yes.

Dave: I was going to say you’re getting teary about what part of it?

Quina: This is all we’re doing here today. [Laughter] We’re just crying and talking.

Dave: Is it the passing it on to your children or the reaching out and touching people?

Ann: I think it’s one of the greatest joys that God can give us is when we love and see people the way that 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 others-centered and see the beauty in the people around me whether they’re Christian or not it doesn’t matter.

Quina: Wow. Right, right.

Ann: 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.

Quina: Yes.

Dave: We’ve got two, we’re back to Quina.

Quina: Whoo that’s good.

Ann: That’s kind of two and a half, three.

Quina: Two point five.

Ann: There you go.

Dave: Two point five. [Laughter] I like that. We’re halfway done.

Quina: I have one that I was thinking about when maybe when Jael 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.

Ann: Ahhh.

Quina: “You see that tree over there? See that bird?” and depending on the age it might just be, “Who do you think made that?

Dave: Yes.

Quina: Who made that? Oh God made that. Did you know He made?” “Wait mommy did He actually make the sky?” and you know just continuing. I think about was it in Deuteronomy when He talks about, “As you rise, as you sit-

Ann: Deuteronomy 6

Quina: –as you walk, as you,” it’s the Word of God. So I’ve taken that a bit to heart. So literally we’ll go walking. I love nature, so walking and being about 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. I like that and then also with that maybe this will round out the point, the other point five [laughter] 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.

Ann: Oh that’s good.

Quina: You know that reminds me of this story and making not about, ‘I’ teacher – ‘you’ student, you must now listen and receive my wisdom.” It’s not like that. [Laughter] 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...?”

Ann: 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.

Dave: Oh yes.  [Laughter]

Quina: If someone wants me, like I would love that. [Laughter] We’re reading through Chronicles of Narnia right now at night.

Dave: Oh wow.

Quina: Maybe that’s the other, is read through some good literature that will kind of spark that conversation.

Dave: Well you know I’ve got one. Get Quina’s book [Laughter] and read them with your kids.

Ann: There you go. Is this number four?

Quina: I’m not mad at that one.

Ann: Okay let’s say that can be one, reading.

Quina: Yes though, yes.

Ann: I did it whenever we were home every single night.

Dave: –every night

Dave: We would do this with our boys.

Ann: We would lay in our bed. Sometimes all three were in my bed or I’d take turns with them. But especially reading some literature like Chronicles of Narnia -whoo those are so good.

Quina: Yes. And then I cry and then I’m like–the other night, what was it in, we just finished The Lion the Witch and 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 CS Lewis describes it of course I started crying while I read it, I’m like, “Baby I’m sorry,” I just started crying.

Amazingly as a seven year old she’s just 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. That’s encouraging but being able to have those resources is such a to have the literature that we have, such a wealth of whether it’s picture books or story books, whatever it may be - those things. Again it keeps going back to story.

Dave: Oh definitely. I could throw in movies as well.

Quina: Yes, exactly.

Dave: The same thing. You utilize video. You can pull it right up on your phone and say, “Let’s talk about that.”

Quina: That’s really good.

Dave: Okay, you got another one?

Ann: Do you? It’s your turn.

Dave: Live it.

Ann: That’s good.

Dave: We wrote about it in our No Perfect Parents book, faith is caught rather than taught. You can teach all you want, and that’s good, and we should open the Word. 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 who I am and it’s coming out. I’m in the Word and because I’m in the Word God is speaking to me and I have something to give. You cannot give away what you first do not possess. I would just say man that is the greatest thing you can do, live it, and instead of looking at your kids and like they’ve got to get this look in the mirror and say, “Am I getting this?” Because if I’m getting this it’ll get passed on.

Ann: That’s good.

Dave: Alright.

Ann: Alright.

Dave: I guess we have only one more left.

Ann: 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 Quina because you’ve gone through a lot, “Knowing that the testing of 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. We had fun.

Dave: Yes.

Ann: 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. [Laughter] We’d have these water gun fights where we’re running down the street. You’re playing sports with the kids. We’re playing street hockey, capture the flag. We would toilet paper our friend’s houses [Laughter] as they got older because they wanted to do something risky.

Dave: In a modest way. We didn’t destroy their houses.

Ann: No, no right, but they’re little.

Dave: Shaving cream slip ‘n slide-

Ann: Yes.

Dave: The last day of school was shaving cream slip ‘n slide

Quina: I want to go to your house [Laughter]

Ann: I mean when I used to drive around our cul-de-sac in our car just going around and around, [Laughter] one time I parked the car sideways in the driveway.

Dave: Like that so it’s turned.

Ann: It’s turned sideways and the kids are like, “What are you doing?” “Let’s go in the house and see which neighbor calls first to say, ‘What are you doing?’” [Laughter] So we were looking maybe three minutes.

Dave: It was immediate.

Ann: Yes, and we all knew, “Guess like who’s calling,”

Dave: Wait a minute, why’s it parked sideways? Oh, okay.

Quina: Oh my goodness.

Ann: –and this was back when they got into 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.”

Dave: Speaker broken.

Ann: I don’t know if I said speaker broken because that’d be lying.

Dave: She put it on the microphone for the drive through and then we went inside to listen to people.

Quina: Oh my goodness.

Ann: And so we go inside, this is like 10:00 at night and they’re screaming, “I WANT A HAMBURGER,” and people are-they’re the workers are like, “What, why are you screaming?” You know we’re shaking we’re laughing so hard.

Quina: Oh my goodness.

Ann: 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 joy that Jesus brings is something that’s contagious.

Quina: 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 that we’ve lived in. One of the biggest privileges to me is when one of the middle school girls in my old neighborhoods call me, multiple ones have called me, “You’re like my neighborhood mom. Like I can talk to you about my stuff.”

Our doors are open. My husband and I just had a big you know, kind of hospitality policy like if they’re neighbors like you’re welcome in. We might just have a messy day, we might have a rough day, we might have a great day, but you’re welcome into our space.

Ann: I think what happens when our kids get older, we’ve shared this a few times but their friends are hurting and they have stories. But when you're open and you’re watching your kid’s friends, just to sit down and say just kind of where you were Quina. “Hey, you know it seems like life seems heavy to you. Am I correct? Can I pray for you? Is anything going on?” Man these teenagers will cry. They may not pour it out to their parents but sometimes they’ll pour it out to you.

Quina: Oh yes, yes. That’s so true, I know I was like that.

Ann: Really?

Quina: Yes, my mom could have been telling me the same exact thing that you told me but when you said it, “Do you realize - this is a good point,” and just open up to others.

Ann: Ohh, I’d like to live on your street. Isn’t she cool?

Quina: You with the water gun fight. Yes I’m going to take some of these ideas.

Dave: Do it! [Laughter]

Ann: We had one little girl that lived on the corner, I think maybe in the fourth grade.

Dave: Oh no.

Ann: She comes to our house and we go, “We’re going toilet papering tonight. Everybody get in the car,” and she, she raises her hand and 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 goes, “My mom doesn’t believe me because Dave’s the pastor.”

[Laughter] So I get on the phone and I’m like, “Hey yes we’re going to go toilet papering,” and she goes, “I thought, I thought you guys were nice like Christian people.”  I’m like, “Yes 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.”

Quina: That’s hilarious.

Ann: I know.

Quina: I love that.

Dave: Joy is contagious.

Quina: Yes.

Dave: 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.

Ann: 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.

Quina: I would love that. That would be my honor.

Shelby: I’m Shelby Abbott and you’ve been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with Quina Aragon on FamilyLife Today. You know I’m really excited because we get to hear Quina 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.

Note: Quina Aragon’s reading of her book, Love Can: A Story of God's Superpower Helper, is copyrighted by Harvest Kids publishing. FamilyLife® does not have permission to included the book’s written content in this transcript. See shop.familylife.com, or other Christian booksellers to get a copy of this book.

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 can pick up a copy of it at FamilyLifeToday.com. 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. 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 FamilyLife, 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.

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 common obstacles in raising your children. Help instill character, discipline, relationships, integrity. It comes with lots of speakers like Bryan Loritts, Paul David Tripp, Dave and Ann Wilson, and lots of others who provide great content to help you raise your kids in the way God would have you do it.

You can donate right now to FamilyLifeToday.com, or you can call 800-358-6329. Again that number is 800 ‘F’ as in family, ‘L’ as in life and then the word TODAY. We also wanted to let you to know that we also accept contributions via mail. You can simply send your donations to FamilyLife, 100 Lake Hart Drive, Orlando, Florida 32832.

Alright this is it. I’m ready to hear Quina Aragon read her book Love Can.

Quina: Okay, you ready kids? [Laughter]

Ann: We’re ready!

Quina: [Quina Aragon’s reading of her book, Love Can: A Story of God's Superpower Helper, is copyrighted by Harvest Kids publishing. FamilyLife® does not have permission to included the book’s written content in this transcript. See shop.familylife.com, or other Christian book seller to get a copy of Quina’s book.] 

Shelby: FamilyLife Today is a donor-supported production of FamilyLife®, a Cru® ministry. Helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.

 

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