Few things cause my kids to visit the procrastination station more than the call to put their shoes on. I’m not really sure what causes this, but the idea of going into their room, grabbing shoes and whacking them on sends them into slow-mo. If it was a toy, they’d be back out in a flash. If it was for their sport, no worries at all. But when it comes to shoes, it just seems to drag on and on and on. Maybe, just maybe there might be some good time for a discipleship chat. Here are 4 ways you could approach it.
1) Oh be careful little feet where you go
Our feet are dangerous little things. Because what they can do is take us to places where we might sin. This might be as simple as going to the lemon tree they are not allowed to touch. It might be taking a skateboard on the road they aren’t allowed to go on. It might be walking towards a person they are going to tease. It might be running away from God! It doesn’t have to be literal (although, it probably does for preschoolers!). But help your kids think about where their feet could take them today, and how they can fight sin. Proverbs tells us that a fool will walk to their death – we don’t want our kids to do that.
Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead. Proverbs 9:13-18
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12
2) Beautiful feet
Most people find feet a little gross. Personally I’m not too worried. My wife is. If I so much as accidentally brush her with one of my feet she freaks out. And I occasionally wear shoes. Imagine feet that walked dusty roads all the time. And in the pre-shower age! They would have been rank. No one would have called them beautiful. But there is one message that is so incredible, so amazing, that the person who runs it to the city is said to have beautiful feet. The message is so wondrous that it transforms these sweaty, grimy, gross feet into beautiful ones. Feet you would kiss, overjoyed by the good news they’ve brought. And the good news is that of our God who saves. Will your feet be beautiful today? Who might you tell the good news of Jesus to?
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
3) Feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel
This one is very similar to the last one – but it’s a different biblical image. And the more different pictures we can give our kids for the same ideas the better! It comes from Ephesians 6, where Paul describes the armour of God that we don for the spiritual battle we’re in. And the armour that covers our (beautiful) feet is a readiness. The readiness of the gospel of peace. That is, are feet are ready to go into battle for people’s souls. We are willing to put ourselves at risk so that others might hear the good news and get peace with God. Pretty epic thing your kid could do today!
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15
4) Jesus’ feet
The last time that Jesus put his shoes on his feet before he died, he knew where they were going to take him. He knew how painful it would be, both physically and emotionally – being rejected by his people. He knew how devastating it was going to be to be punished by his Father for our sin. He knew what he was in for. He didn’t want to have to go through all of that. He prayed that it might not be so. But along with his Father, he knew there was no other way. So he put on his shoes, walked up the hill and gave us life up for us. What a king! Perhaps we can follow in his footsteps today and lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
1 John 3:16
Imagine if our kids’ feet take them to some remarkable places today? Imagine if they keep them out of folly and sin? Imagine if they do follow in the footsteps of their Maker, Saviour and King? You can set them up for this today!
I hope these ideas have been helpful! See here more instalments of the 100.