It’s interesting to know what goes on in the minds of kids. I remember watching the original Art Linkletter show, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” One of my more memorable episodes was when Art asked how many brothers and sisters they had. One boy replied, “There are six of us.” Art followed up, “And what are their ages?” The boy answered: “Well, I’m 7 and the others are 6, 5, 4, 2, and 1”. “What happened to 3?” Art asked. The boy quickly retorted, “Oh, that’s the year we got the new color TV!” Yes, kids do say the darnedest things. And it seems they have an opinion about everything, including God.
How do the kids in your your life see God?
Jounalist Kelly Wallace asked her children this question. Her youngest daughter sees God as the moral of stories. Her older daughter sees God as having control over everything. She turned to author Monica Parker who wrote a book on the subject. Even in houses with no particular spiritual connection, kids have thoughts about God. Here are some of her findings:
Her 7 year old son said, “I know who’s seen God…doctors, when they cut people open.”
God doesn’t have a house. He doesn’t need one except on Sundays when he needs to rest. – Ethan 8
“I wish God could make me famous SOON!” – Kayla 8 1/2
“I call God when I need help with things but not my homework, because my mom says I have to do that by myself.” – Jackson, 7.
“My father never believed you were real but my mom did, but then she got sick and now he prays to you but my mom doesn’t anymore.” – Max 8
“My mom talks to God when we need more money.” – Manny 6
Emerson, age 12, asks whether really is a God. Uma 12, says “God lives wherever you imagine.”
Do you talk with the children in your life about God? There are many questions to be asked to open the conversation. Who is God? What do you see when you think about God? Where does God live? And so many more. You’ll likely find that sometimes we tell kids about God, but other times, the child becomes our teacher, reminding us of truths we’ve forgotten. Sometimes, the questions lead to more questions, allowing for relationship building.
Reading the bible together in a version they will understand, you might learn more by asking, “How was the child David able to beat the giant warrior Goliath?” “Why do you think Jesus so enjoyed spending time with children?” “What does it means when it says, God so loved the world?” “Why do you think Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?”
We would also do well to ask ourselves what our words and actions tell children about God. Do they hear you pray? Do they see you applying his Word to your everyday life? What language and temperment are they picking up? What people see when we’re angry or hurt tells a lot about what we think about God. There’s much to gained and given in mutually beneficial relationships with children. It offers you to be both the teacher and the student. Oh, and that story about Jesus and the children? It wasn’t only to show us how valuable they are, but to also demonstrate our need to slow down and enjoy these young treasures while sharing our God given wisdom with them. If we don’t talk to the kids in our life about God someone else will. And what do you think they might teach them?