Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teaching Children About God

Just a few weekends ago, I was talking with some mothers, and somehow, we got around to talking about school since exam week just passed by.  We were initially discussing about how our kids found Filipino as a tough subject, and then one mom pointed out that Christian Living was also a struggle for her son; dumbfounded as she was when her son asked her "Who is God?"

That night, I couldn't help but ask myself if I had taken every opportunity to teach my own kids about God.  I mean, sure, we go to church on Sundays, we say our night-time prayers daily; but does my kids know the Lord in a personal way?

It's just perfect timing that I stumbled upon this blog post today where it gives 10 tips for teaching children about God.  I am re-posting it in full right here:

10 Tips For Teaching Children About God:

by Stephanie Carmichael

Teach all the time: Young
children live in the moment. Help them to learn in the moment by making
the most of opportunities as they arise. Talk about God in the
day-to-day things you are doing.

Teach at a special time: Try
to set aside a special time to read about God. Prepare for this time.
If you are going to read the Bible, think about what you will read and
how to simplify and explain it.

Questions and answers: Listen
to your children's questions, and give quality time to answering them.
But also ask them questions about what you've been trying to teach to
check they have understood.

Teach through your life: You
are a living example (or visual aid) of someone who loves God. Set a
faithful example of dependence on God and let them see you reading the
Bible for yourself.

Be prayerful: Like adults,
children need God's help to grow in Christ and they can learn to pray.
So pray for them and pray simple prayers with them (e.g. "sorry God that
we...", "thank you God for...", "God, please help...").

Be simple: Young children
are not abstract thinkers so be literal and concrete. Use real examples
where possible (eg. God made this flower). Use simple vocabulary that
they can understand. Avoid jargon.

Be specific: Move from the
specific (God loves Ben) to the general (God loves everyone). Use lots
of familiar examples so that they can understand.

Repeat and repeat again: You might get tired of saying it, but remember young children thrive on repetition.

Be thankful: Approach God with thankfulness. Model to your children how we can thank God in various situations and what we can thank God for.

Be visual: Young children learn through their eyes as well as their ears. Use pictures, visual aids, picture books etc.

The author of the tips , Stephanie Carmichael, is also a published author.  Her books offer many examples of these tips in

Some days everything seems to go wrong and everyone feels grumpy. And sometimes, not even a hug from Mum can fix things up. This beautiful story contains a wonderfully clear message about the disappointments of life and the goodness of God.  You can enjoy the FREE e-book right here.

It's Ben's birthday, but when he falls out of his new wagon and hurts
himself, Emily has to think of a way to make the day special again. This
lovely story is about families and looking after one another, and about
the God who loves us all.  You can enjoy the FREE e-book right here.

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