MONTHLY ARCHIVES: December 2012
“Hey, Mom?” my son said one day. “If killing is wrong, then why did God help David kill Goliath?” Whoa! My child was only 3 years old! I was not expecting questions like this for at least seven more years. Over the next few weeks, he asked even more questions, such as “If Jesus is God’s Son, then who is God’s wife?” and “So Jesus and God are kind of the same but kind of different. How does that work?
Children are curious. Like it or not, you are going to be faced with tough questions from little seekers. At times, it can be overwhelming. After all, theologians and scholars have been debating the answers to some of these questions for centuries, so how can you be expected to know the answers and communicate them to children in a way that makes sense? The next time you find yourself stumped by a child’s question, keep the following guidelines in mind.
Encourage children to ask questions
When you feel you do not have the time or energy to get into difficult questions, it is tempting to reply with a quick, “That’s just the way it is” or “Because God said so.” But resist the temptation to be flippant or to blurt out responses that ultimately discourage children from asking questions. Children are genuinely curious about their world, and we need to create an environment that encourages them to seek the truth. When you do, you foster a lifelong desire to continue learning more about God.
Communicate at the child’s level
When answering a child’s tough questions about God, always take into consideration his age and maturity level. Use words and concepts that he can understand and that do not cause additional confusion. This may mean that at times you simplify an issue, such as the Trinity or Christ’s incarnation, to its most basic facts.
Do not be afraid to say you do not know the answer
Instead, join the child in discovering the answer to his questions. Feel free to say: “I’ll have to look that up and get back to you” or “I’m not sure how to answer that. Let’s find the answer together.” It is beneficial for children to see that you are not a supreme know-it-all but that you, too, are still learning about God and growing in your understanding of spiritual concepts.
Help an older child look up answers himself
Pointing children to resources available to them lays the foundation for a lifetime of seeking answers to the hard questions. Stock your bookshelf with a good Bible dictionary and commentary. Show the child how to look up the answer and discuss it with him.
Pray for spiritual understanding
A child’s understanding of spiritual matters is primarily influenced by the Holy Spirit. The Bible makes it clear that the concepts relating to God and His ways are not always easy to understand. Pray that the child’s spiritual eyes, as well as your own, will be opened to God’s truths.
My son is now 7 years old and the questions keep coming! But rather than feel frustrated, I look forward to hearing what he asks next, and I am excited to watch him learn even more about God.
by Katrina Baker on Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I personally do not have children but I do have 3 nieces and 2 nephews who I love like my own children. I could talk your ear off about them, but this is not my chance to do that! I’ve realized that my brothers and sister-in-laws get to teach them everything in the early years of their children’s’ lives. For the first several years, they get to determine what their children believe in, what is true, and what will become tradition.
One of those traditions that is upon us in this Christmas season is Santa Claus. As a parent, you’ve probably heard the question, “Is Santa Real?” When I was younger, I believed in Santa. My parents still sign their name on presents as Santa. At Crestridge, we celebrate Christmas in the summertime and Santa Claus comes to visit. It’s fun and magical. I recently read an interesting article by Mark Driscoll that talks about how to talk to your kids about Santa. I’m sure it is exciting, yet difficult to decide what your approach will be on instances like this; what you are going to teach your children. There is no one way to parenting but I’d like to pose a few questions:
How do you talk to your kids about Santa?
What personal Christmas traditions do you see as most important to pass on to your children?
Besides giving a present to a family member, what is something you are currently doing or can do to teach your kids about a giving spirit?
Here’s an article I’d like to pass on by Mark Driscoll that is a possible approach in how to talk to your kids about Santa…
We hope you have a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and Christ’s birth with your children!
Assistant Director, Camp Crestridge for Girls
Parents! As we continue to partner with you as you raise your children, we are always on the lookout for solid resources and encouragement from some of the most godly fathers and sons that we know. We hope that you enjoy this 5 minute video with some really great ideas…
How can you keep this conversation going at home? Try bouncing some of these questions
around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even
while you’re shopping together:
• Give each family member an opportunity to discuss their all-time favorite Christmas gift.
What made that gift special? Who gave you that gift?
• Your school-aged child may have a hard time realizing that the baby Jesus we emphasize
so much at Christmas grew up just like we do. Use the Scripture references from the feature
on page 9 to talk with your child about the humanity of Jesus.
• When you picture Jesus, do you picture Him as a baby in the manger, teaching and doing
miracles, or on the cross?
• When you look at a lot of other religions, they don’t believe that Jesus is truly God. Why do
you think it matters?