There are many important things that we need to know about God, but perhaps the most important thing our children need to know is that God loves us. God sent his only Son to be born for us, not because he had to, but because he chose to. And God continues to show us his love throughout our lives.
I think that children instinctively understand the fact that God loves us, but it is important to help them to understand what that really means. God’s love for us is unconditional, which means that he will never stop loving us even if we turn our backs on him. But it also means that God will continually challenge us to be all that he made us to be. We cannot do whatever we want and think that God will simply be OK with it.
But I also think that it’s important to make sure that our children understand that being loved by God doesn’t mean nothing bad will ever happen. What it does mean is that God is always with us, no matter what happens in our lives. And that’s an important lesson that they can carry with them and share with others. Challenges will invariably arise in our children’s lives. What will ultimately give them strength and comfort is knowing that God will always love us and be there for us.
Bryan Lowe, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Anniston
Teach by your actions
I think the question should read, “What’s the most important thing I can DO that teaches my children about God?”
Yahweh commanded the Israelites to talk to their children when they sat down at home, when they walked along the road, when they lay down and when they arose (Deut. 6:5-7).
The Lord is to be loved with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our strength. Israel had the commandments on stone and paper, but not in their hearts.
When Yahweh’s laws are not in our hearts it is very easy to just tell our children what to do, while we do something entirely different. Parents were given to children to be their spiritual trainers. This job is not reserved for seminary graduates, bible scholars or those with lofty titles, but is meant for every person wearing the label “Daddy” or “Mommy.”
Small children don’t see Yahweh . . . they see you. You’re not perfect, and neither do you have to be to teach your children about Yahweh.
The most important thing that you can do to teach your children about Yahweh is to be certain that you’ve been born again yourself (John 3:3), that you walk by the rule of the Holy Spirit, and that you have made yourself accountable to your spouse, your children, church leaders and friends, as well as to those in authority.
When you make mistakes, please let your children know that you’re sorry. It is impossible to teach your children about Yahweh without staying before Him yourself. We learn from “pictures,” not from vain words!
Bob McClain, Living By Faith Ministry, Oxford