Some Bible truths are easy to teach our children.
Tell the truth.
Obey your parents.
Some are not so easy.
Salvation is a gift of grace.
Trust God even when you can’t see Him.
God is Triune – three persons, but one in essence
How do we communicate these truths to children, when we may be struggling to understand them ourselves?
It may help to follow these steps:
This sounds almost cliché, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Prayer is more than just a pat answer. It’s our lifeline to the One who loves us, sent His Son to die for us, and sent His Spirit to live in us. Prayer should be our first recourse in all things!
2. Search God’s Word.
The Bible is more than a collection of dos and don’ts. It’s our guidebook to understand who God is, how He works, who we are in relation to Him, and how we are to live. Don’t just look for one verse. Allow the Bible to interpret itself by seeking as many verses as you can on the same subject.
3. Process and apply these truths for yourself.
We cannot teach what we have not learned. ’Nuf said!
4. Seek out trusted, age-appropriate resources.
Talk to the children’s pastor at your church. Locate children’s books by authors you trust to rightly handle God’s Word. But remember, whether from a pastor or an author, these resources help you apply God’s Word, they are not a substitute for it!
5. Don’t imitate a dump truck.
If your child asks a question, give him only as much information as he can process. He doesn’t have to understand the whole picture in one sitting. As a matter of fact, there are some biblical truths I am still processing!
6. Don’t oversimplify.
In my last post, I mentioned we need to be careful as we teach Bible truth to children.
Sometimes, in our efforts to communicate truth, we oversimplify to the point of communicating error. For example, in trying to teach about the Trinity, some use water’s three states as an illustration. But water cannot exist as water vapor, water, and ice simultaneously. God does not move from Son to Spirit to Father. God is always three Persons at the same time. We see this in the gospel account of Jesus’ baptism. Matthew 3:13-17 tells us Jesus, God the Father (“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well-pleased”), and the Holy Spirit (“descending like a dove”) were all present at the same time.
As parents, grandparents, teachers, and adult influences in children’s lives, we have a tremendous responsibility to teach them truths that will influence them for the rest of their lives. Embrace the opportunity!
On a personal note, Crystal Bowman and I are excited about the Faith Basics for Kids series because each book teaches a Bible truth with age-appropriate vocabulary and a fun story, and also explains that same truth at an adult-level through an addendum at the back of the book. We’d love to hear your feedback on Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today?