God has spoken clearly through His Word, and He wants us to teach His truths diligently to the children in our care, whether we’re teachers, grandparents, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, or even older brothers and sisters. We should talk of God’s words when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise (see Deuteronomy 6:7).
“But some concepts are just too hard for children,” we’re tempted to think. “Portions of Scripture raise difficult questions that a child can’t understand. I don’t even fully understand them myself, so how can I teach them to a child?”
Sound familiar? These common rationalizations keep us from teaching children many of the “hard” concepts of God. But these excuses are based on faulty understanding. We can obey God’s mandate to teach His whole counsel because He has made the important truths very clear, and He promises to give us the power to fulfill His commands (see 1 Thessalonians 5:24).
So here are a few tips to help in teaching children God’s deeper truths.
- Start with prayer, God’s Word, and a humble heart.
- Explain the concept in your own words. If you don’t understand it well enough yourself, go to someone who does and write down their wording as they talk to you.
- Determine one or two key teaching points. (More could overwhelm both you and the children.)
- Carefully edit your explanation in plain language, addressing the main points in an age-appropriate way.
- Don’t get distracted by secondary issues. Focus on an accurate, clear answer on one major point that children can remember.
- Use illustrations where possible, but be sure they are kid-friendly.
- Refer to the Bible as your ultimate answer book. Reinforce this concept by telling the children that it is your final authority. Share the Scriptures that have helped answer your own questions and explain how they helped.
American culture has lowered its expectations regarding what kids can learn. Don’t follow that lead. While teaching, be realistic, be enthusiastic, be prayerful, and be willing to see God open even the youngest minds to difficult yet wonderful truths!