As I said yesterday I’ve been thinking about how we are to talk to kids about God. The first, and clearly most important, part of all this is to talk to them about God. And do it a lot.
You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
When are you to tell your kids about God? Well that’s easy. When you are sitting in the house, when you’re out walking, when you are lying down or when you are up. Like, all the time.
Deuteronomy, where the instructions above are from, is the fifth book of the Bible. This means that it comes after the stories of Genesis, Exodus, and Numbers (Leviticus is in there, but its not really a story). Deuteronomy is basically just three speeches given by Moses before the people enter the Promised Land after wandering in the desert for 40 years and in his speeches he recounts how good God has been to them.
Remember these words because God has been good! Tell your children because God has been good!
So I talk to Soren about God whenever I can and I always focus on how good God has been. At first it was hard to do but over time it became easier. The other day we went to the zoo and that night before bed I asked him, “Soren, what was your favorite animal at the zoo?”
“God made that gorilla. Aren’t you glad God made the gorilla for you to see?”
“Yeah, I am.”
And then we prayed to thank God for the gorilla. “Thank you, God, for making the gorilla and letting me see it. Amen”
Of course, this could easily become obnoxious. Notice that the words of Deuteronomy don’t say “Tell them without stopping.” Just tell them at all these different times. Any of these times would be appropriate. We try to find God in everything we do, and it has become easier because God is in everything that we do. But I limit myself to one thing a day. Each day we find one thing God gave us that was good.
He doesn’t really have an understanding of a divine being yet. But he knows that something out there is called God and it loves him and does good things. That’s a better start than most people get with religion.