crawfish etouffeeBorn and raised in the “tasty” state of Louisiana, I’ve been making gumbo, etouffee, and jambalaya for my family for years. Our daughters now make jambalaya, but none of them have made a dish on their own requiring a roux. Not until recently, that is.

Our youngest, Mark, is a junior at Louisiana Tech University. When he discovered he missed out on the Crawfish Etouffee I made for his dad’s birthday in early December, Mark asked if I would teach him how to make it over Christmas.

On Christmas Eve afternoon, we met in the kitchen and I pulled out my well-worn copy of Paul Prudhomme’s “Louisiana Kitchen” cookbook.

I turned to Mark and said dramatically, “First, you make a roux.”

Many, many Cajun dishes begin with a roux. It’s not only the beginning, it’s also the most important part. So that’s where we started. (If you’re interested, here’s some pretty good instructions for making a roux. One big difference between these instructions and the way I do it, is I heat the oil before adding the flour in slowly.)

5 Steps for Sharing Roux  – or Your Faith – with Your Children

Mark did a great job with the etouffee. The entire family got to enjoy it for Christmas Eve dinner. This morning, when I was going through the photos I took, I realized that our etouffee lesson makes a great illustration for how we can purposefully work to pass on our faith to our children.

1. Model it – Just like we put Cajun dishes in front of our children all their growing up years, we also put our faith in front of our children. They saw us live the Christian life. They “tasted” the effects. In fact, they developed a taste for Jesus because He was constantly served in our house.

roux, spiritual mentoring2. Tell them – We moved out of Louisiana when our oldest was a baby, so Cajun food was not the culinary norm where we lived while they grew up. We had to make a point of not just cooking it for our family, but also telling them what it was and where it came from. Your kids will not get Jesus from our culture. It’s going to have to come from you. Tell them!

3. Do it with them – When I taught Mark how to make etouffee, I didn’t have him stand to the side and watch me. And I didn’t give him a few instructions and leave the room. I handed him the skillet and the whisk and we did it together. Do faith with your kids. Go to church together. Have family devotions. Take them on a family mission trip. Talk about how you can obey God and serve Him while you sit around the dinner table.

parenting, spiritual mentoring4. Encourage them to do it on their own – We gave Mark a copy of Paul Prudhomme’s cookbook for Christmas. I showed him how to do it and then I gave him what he needs to do it on his own. Let’s encourage our kids to make faith in Christ their own. Give them the tools and give them a small push!

5. Celebrate growth – When we ate dinner on Christmas Eve, the whole family gushed about the delicious etouffee. Mark’s efforts were delicious and we let him know it! When you see your children take steps of obedience or grow in their faith, let them know you see it, that you’re proud of them.

parenting, spiritual growth, mentoringHmm. Who would have known that Cajun cooking and spiritual mentoring have so much in common?!

Have you ever used any of these suggestions to encourage your children in their faith? Do you have any “cooking” tips you could share with us?

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