In their book Listening to Children on the Spiritual Journey, Catherine Stonehouse and Scottie May share their findings over the many interviews they have conducted with children about God.
“We see that as children mature, more and more of them move away from a concrete view of God. They acknowledge that God is not just the greatest of all human creatures…some of them wrestle with understanding God, realizing that God is beyond their comprehension,” said the authors.
The question for today…how can we help kids go from wrestling to wondering. How can we help kids growing in faith focus their hearts on God? Here are some things you can do as a family to guide kids during this question-filled time:
- Relational wondering. I love to give kids a chance to wonder together. In December, we asked the kids what they thought was interesting about how Jesus was born in a manger rather than a palace. It was amazing to hear what the kids came up with just by wondering and talking together. We had some great discussion time that lead from that question. Ask your kids wondering questions at home as well. The best questions don’t always have a yes or no answer.
- Look for God. Many kids are concrete learners and an omnipotent and omniscient Creator can be a lot to wrap your brain around. Help kids by spending time together as a family discussion how God was active in your lives today. We all heard the wind example…you don’t see the wind but you see what the wind can do. You don’t see God but you see what He does. Take that a step further and make it personal. Share with your kids a time you saw God’s love today and ask them to do the same. Make looking for these God moments a part of your daily routine. (I’ll share more about looking for God in my next post!)
- Keep it age-appropriate. Just because they are young, don’t think kids can’t dig into the Bible, worship God, and pray to Him (1 Timothy 4:12). What a blessing it is when families read the Bible, worship, and pray together. The key to helping kids look forward to these times is by keeping things age-appropriate. That doesn’t mean to dilute God’s Word or pray any less. It means making the most out of these times by teaching kids in ways they learn best. For example, as you read the Bible, ask kids to illustrate the point or have them act out what they just heard. During prayer, let kids talk to God. If this is a new time for your family, guide them with feel-in-the-blank prayers (God we thank you for…letting kids fill in the prayer with what they are thankful for).
We believe that God has placed children under the authority of their parents, and it is the parents’ responsibility to teach their children how to live a life that is pleasing to God. But the Church is here to partner with parents, equipping them to help their children grow in faith. Remember, FBC is always here for you!