As the opportunities arise to have one on one, five minutes or less, conversations as grandparents with their grandchildren, or parents with their children (see “Strengthening the Next Generation”—T. A. McMahon, http://bit.ly/3AoAHQq) there are all kinds of spiritual subjects that can be discussed.
For example, recently during our worship time at church we sang the hymn Nothing but the Blood of Jesus.
As I listened to the familiar lyrics, I wondered what my granddaughter would understand about the hymn. The first verse declares, “What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Does she know what the blood signifies? We as grandparents or parents may assume our children understand very important biblical terms—when that's not the case. Therefore, conversations that help them discern when a term or phrase is to be understood literally or figuratively is critical. In the hymn given above, “the blood” is used figuratively to refer to His death in payment for the sins of mankind. It’s not the literal blood but rather the sacrificial death of Jesus that can “wash away my sins” and “make me whole again.”
Conversations that help a child differentiate between a literal statement (blood meaning that which runs through the veins of Jesus) and a figurative one (blood symbolically representing His atonement for our sins) have great value in helping children understand the Word of God. Plus it’s a great time of interacting with our kids.
T. A. McMahon