“Mommy… Daddy… What about God?” Are you ready to answer that question? With parenthood, comes many questions you will answer over the years. Kids love to ask why. Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? They even ask questions about God… Why is there a God? Why do we die? Death might be a topic after a loved one dies. Even kids, who are raised in the church, may ask questions about who God is and why he exists. Maybe other children have questioned their beliefs or have told them of other beliefs- atheist, etc. Kids just ask questions. Are you prepared to answer them? Here are some tips for talking to your children about God.
1. Start Young!
Kids are never too young to learn about God. You don’t have to push the complicated stuff. You can’t expect a 2 year old to memorize bible passages. But you can find activities that are appropriate for their age group. Invest in a good Children’s Bible. Start reading them stories from the Children’s Bible. The stories in there are the stories right out of your Bible, except these versions of the stories are printed in vocabulary and terms easy for young children to understand. There are lots of fun Christian Games and flash cards to fit even the preschool age group.
Which leads me to my second tip…
2. Use Songs and Other Fun Activities
There are Christian flash cards, games, and activity sheets. Make learning about God fun and enlightening by using flash cards, games or activities. Not much different from what they do at Vacation Bible School at any church, your child will learn about God’s word and have fun doing it. Also, songs are a good way to talk about God. Songs are fun and make learning fun. The Lord’s Prayer can even be sung. Making the talk about God a little fun will ease you and make your child more comfortable in return.
3. Keep Consistent in Beliefs
Whether you are Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, etc., keep consistent in your beliefs. Know what you believe and stick to it. If you are confused in what you are thinking, you will confuse the child.This is very important because kids ask a lot of questions and find loop holes in everything. If you are unsure while speaking to your child, you will easier be lead off topic and not be able to convey your thoughts properly. Know what you believe and know it well. And be ready for those questions!
4. Belong to a Church
Children who attend church regularly will be far more advanced in the topic and be ready for almost anything you throw at them at a younger age than children who do not attend church regularly. By the time most Christian kids are teenagers, they already have firm beliefs. They already have morals and values stemming from their firm beliefs. They are set in their knowledge about God. They could probably actually teach you a thing or two. For that reason, if not for any other, belong to a church. Seriously, if you believe in God, they are many reasons to belong to a church. There is power in fellowship. It is not the same to learn about God or worship God in the privacy of your home. It is not the same for your children either! They can learn so much more and understand so much more if you let them learn with others their own age in a church environment where they can find fellowship. There is Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Seriously… It will make your talks about God a lot easier if your child attends church. If you don’t actively go, consider going. If you do not have a church home or you are undecided on denomination or churches, just go out there and find the church and denomination that best fits you and your family. If you will not go to a church regularly, at least see about registering your child in Vacation Bible School at a local church.
5. Keep it Simple and Stick to Basics
For very young children or older children who have not grown up attending church regularly, keep it simple. Stick to the basics as you talk to your children about God. You don’t want to cram little minds with so much that they miss the major points. God loves them! Jesus loves them! The Holy Trinity- Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Three in one. God does not punish! God forgives! Remember the Gospel with the Law. You can’t have one without the other. Let kids know that they can talk to God. Let them know it is not good to sin, but it is only human. God will forgive them as long as they say they are sorry for their sins and ask for forgiveness. Make sure you tell them God sent his only son, Jesus, to live as man and die on the cross for their sins; therefore, they are forgiven of their sins. They are saved by the Grace of God, God’s undeserving love for us, through faith in Jesus Christ. They will indeed have eternal life in Heaven. These are the main principles!
Refer to the Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Refer to John 3:16- This is the most well-known passage in the Bible and sums up the Gospel in a nutshell.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him Shall not perish but have eternal life.
6. Be Patient, Understanding, Listen, and Answer Questions
Again… Children ask a lot of questions. Be patient. Remember, they are only children. Things that seem second nature to you and just make sense are totally new to them. Be understanding. Understand that they have questions and no question is stupid or silly. They do not know unless someone tells them. Listen! Listen to them! You are not talking to a wall or just talking to hear yourself speak. Answer Questions! They will have questions. Listen to each question and answer it they best you can with all the patient and understanding you have.
7. Be Open to Questions About Other People’s Beliefs
Talk to your children about your family beliefs, but be open to questions about other people’s beliefs. Be prepared to answer questions about the differences in different religions or denominations. This may mean you may need to read up and study a little on other religions and denominations. You do not have to believe the same as the other religions or denominations. Just know a little about them. What happens when your children come home from school and ask you what an atheist is? Maybe your children have friends who are Mormon or Catholic and they are Methodist so they want to know why their friends believe a little different than they believe. Are you prepared to answer? You don’t have to teach other religions and denominations to your children. Just be prepared to answer their questions. Many religions and denominations believe in God, but all have their own deviations and individual methods of worship and belief.
8.Think Like a Child
Remember when you were a child. Do you remember? The world is seen so much differently through a child’s eyes. Keep that in mind when talking to your children. They are not yet tainted by many sins of this world. Kids are in no way sinless, but they are naive. Explain to them in ways that they will understand. Use analogies in which they can relate. Don’t talk down to them, but talk to them on their level. Explain in ways that they can understand.
Here are some websites which provide materials that will help you in talking to you children about God and teaching Christianity to you children:
1. Applesauce Kids
This website has Christian games, puzzles, activities, coloring pages, and much more! Activities are for kids of all ages. Preschoolers-Teens. Free.
2. A Kids Heart
This website has Christian games, activities, jigsaw puzzles, printable sheets, coloring pages, writing exercises, Bible word searches, crossword puzzles, hangman-type games, and much more! Mainly for younger kids. Free.
3.Kids Sunday School Place
This website has Christian games, puzzles, and mazes listed from A to Z and coloring pages for Preschoolers. Activities are for kids of all ages. Preschoolers-Teens. Free.
It is very important you talk to your children about God. I can not stress how important it is that they have God in their lives and how important it is that they have an understanding of God. It will make such a difference in their lives to have God present. In the great debate about God in schools. Which, by the way, I understand why God is not in schools because not everyone believes in God and our constitutional freedoms allows us to believe how we want and not have anything pushed upon us. However, let me say this… In that debate, I heard people say that there is no need to have God present in a child’s life. Oh, yes there is! There most certainly is a need for God in any child’s life. Most of our morals and values learned as a child are based off of our deep seeded beliefs in God. The Ten Commandments outlines them perfectly. Whether some of us admit it or not, that’s where our initial teachings on how to behave properly in society are rooted. They come from our belief in God. Especially in our country. America is mostly Christian. Whether you are Christian or not, whether God is spoke of in school or not, your children are learning Christian values everyday. Interesting… Isn’t it? You want them to understand so they are not mislead or confused. Talk to your children about God. Be ready for that conversation. I am sure they are…
List of Sources:
A Kids Heart
Kids Sunday School Place