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Home : Feed Your Spirit : Your Life, Better
10 Ways to Talk to Kids About God

Written by Donna Schaper


Keep it simple. Super simple.

God loves you. God loves me. God loves Daddy. And, yes, God loves your brother, who just stole your train. Repetition of these simple sentiments can be incredibly life-giving and important to children.

Try the indirect approach.

Let them catch you praying. They will demand to know what you are doing. Ask not to be interrupted.

Drop hints and let them go.

Be ready to talk when the children are ready to talk. When you speak about God and children don't seem interested, simply let it go. They will find their own way to bring the subject back into the conversation.

Learn how to change the subject as often as children do.

Conversations about God often confuse children. Don't think they aren't listening if they change the subject. Wait for them to come back. They will, in their own time.

Associate God with praise and good things.

Children love to praise. They love to say "Wow." When something beautiful happens, connect it to God. Say, "That rainbow reminds me of God, full of colors and  magical." When a child shares a toy with another, comment on it and say that this is what God is like with everything.

Do not associate God with punishments.

Avoid statements such as "God is going to be angry at you." If you are upset with your child, make it clear that you, not God, are the one who is upset. Your children already think you are God. Your job is to convince them that God is even stronger and more dependable than you are.

Do more listening than talking.

If we are doing all the talking, the conversation is not working. When you find yourself in this situation, exit quickly and try again. Aim for a 3-to-1 ratio, with the child talking three times as much as the adult.

Read what the Bible has to say about families.

You may want to read and consider passages such as Matthew 10:37; Mark 3:31-35; 1 Corinthians 7; Ephesians 5:21-6:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7. These passages have a lot to say about families and how we live together. Better yet, read and discuss the passages together.

Always say grace at meals.

Never eat without thanking God. You can use a book or you can make up your own grace. We use one that includes motions: "God be above us, and God be below us, God be all around us, and God be with our friends."

Speak from children's experiences, not adult experiences.

Ask simple questions: "Have you ever been in a place where you didn’t feel welcome?" "How does it feel when people are mean to you?" You may find out something heartbreaking, such as their feeling that a teacher or coach doesn't like them. Bring God into the hurt. Let children know that other people have been hurt and that no one can reject us without our permission. Most important, make sure they know that God loves them.

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