Tag Archive | thoughts spirituality

Teaching Children about God

What spiritual messages do you want your child to hear?

Infants                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You need to answer that question almost as soon as the precious bundle of joy comes into the world. Why? Consider this. From birth to age two children learn more about the world than at any other age. They learn whether the world is safe or scary and hurtful. Right after birth they may think, What is that bright light and why am I hanging upside down?  They need tender touch and soft words to feel secure. Infants who don’t feel loved will have a difficult time learning to trust.

Age Two                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Around the age of two their world view takes a quantum leap. They seem to change overnight. They may think, My mommy will give me an apple when I ask for one. Two-year-old children believe everything they hear and see. They have no way to know if the messages they receive are true.  They begin to understand they have choices. The word “No” sometimes gets them in trouble and sometimes helps them feel as if they have some power. They think concretely, so be sure you explain spiritual words, such as God and heaven. My two and a half-year-old son came into the room one Sunday morning as I was getting his sister ready for church. He said, “That man on TV said God is a Holy Ghost. God isn’t a ghost, is He?”

Preschool                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As children approach the preschool years, they think for themselves more and more. They open their hearts to new ideas about spiritual issues as their spongy minds seek to understand the world they live in. They learn from many sources: their families, their friends, their teachers, and even television. Truth and lies vie for their attention. They still think concretely, yet they start to learn and love the traditions of the religion practiced by their parents. Preschoolers may not remember exact things that happened to them, but parents can help till the fallow ground of their spiritual beliefs, thoughts, and emotions. At age four, my son said, “I am going to dig a big hole and push the devil into it.”

Elementary Children                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Children as young as six can make religious decisions that will impact their entire lives, including where they will spend eternity. Spiritual beliefs and decisions made in the early elementary years tend to stand firm. Josh McDowell said on Point of View radio, “If you don’t reach a child for Jesus before the age of twelve, you have only a four percent chance of reaching him (her.)” My children both accepted Jesus as their Savior at age six.

What spiritual messages do you want your child to hear? What are you doing to make sure your children are hearing the truth?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Advertisements

Wounded Souls

The news is full of stories about childhood sexual abuse, but most of the articles leave out one important fact. Even one incident of sexual abuse can change a child’s life forever, leaving anger that can be turned outward to the abuser, but is usually turned inward. Even if the abuse is just touching or inappropriate exposure, it can have a life long effect on the child. The story doesn’t stop there. Child abuse leaves a wounded spirit that opens the door for Satan to implant lies into the child’s soul. People can tell the child the truth, but that may have little impact on the core beliefs of the child: “I’m alone, I’m dirty, I’m worthless, I’m powerless,” and on and on. These beliefs can become so entrenched in the child’s mind that only the truth of Jesus can abolish them. 1 Corinthians 6:16 NIV says, “Or do you not know that he who is joined with harlot is one body with her? ‘For the two,'” He says, ‘shall become one flesh.'” That doesn’t mean the abused child is possessed by the other person or by the devil. I believe it does mean there is a soul wound that must be healed by God. The Lord in His love and mercy followed that statement with comforting words. “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” If you were abused as child, there is hope. Please hear this. Jesus can heal your pain. Find a Christain counselor and get help. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.