If you’ve spent any time around young children, you know they are full of questions. They ask things like: “Why is the sky blue?” “Where does the water in the bathtub go?” and “Does God ever fall asleep?” These endless questions are the inspiration behind our new picture book series, I’ve Got Questions, published by Tyndale Kids. The first two titles, Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? and Does God Take Naps?, explore both the humorous and perplexing questions children often ask in a whimsical rhyming format. As a mother-daughter writing team, we reflected on the way story time can often turn into question time. This pattern presents a beautiful opportunity to use reading as a means of initiating faith conversations with the children in our lives. As we anticipate these conversations, we can be equipped with simple strategies to navigate them.
We can teach children about the person of God. Children can be taught that there’s a God in heaven, but we can go deeper when we explain that God is someone they can know. Knowing that God hears their prayers and even knows what they are thinking, gives children the confidence they need to approach a holy God. You can help children understand that God is more than a spiritual being somewhere out there. Even though it may be hard to grasp at first, children can begin to understand that God is like a friend—someone they can talk to anytime of the day or night. He is always available to listen, and he is never too busy to care. Even if you don’t have all the answers, it’s okay. Certain aspects of God are beyond our understanding. (As we say in Does God Take Naps?, “I know it’s hard to understand, but God will always be.”) The more children learn about the character of God, the more comfortable they will be in pursuing a relationship with him.
We can teach children about God’s role as Creator through our daily experiences. As the children in your life notice things in nature, take the initiative to point out God’s love and care in all that he has created. Talk about how God looks after the birds and that he looks after people too. We can show children God’s creativity and artistry by pointing out that he paints the sunsets and decides which color every flower should be. Teaching children that God takes care of the natural world can build their sense of security in knowing that he is big enough to care for them. In Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? we state it this way: “He made amazing creatures on land and in the air. And every creature he has made is always in his care.” Nature is God’s tangible evidence of his existence. Let children know who made all the things they see and touch by pointing them to the Creator.
We can teach children that God speaks to them through the Bible.
Children quickly learn that prayer is how they can talk to God, but understanding that God speaks to them is more difficult for them to grasp. Young children are often introduced to the Bible through kid-friendly Bible story books that feature the more familiar stories in Scripture. Though many of these are excellent resources, we can also show them specific Bible verses that speak directly to them. Here are a few:
- Jeremiah 33:3—“Call to me and I will answer you.”
- Matthew 19:14—“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’”
- 1 John 3:1—“The Father has loved us so much! He loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children.”
According to a recent study done in the United Kingdom, preschoolers ask an average of three hundred questions per day. That’s a lot of questions! But our hope is that you feel equipped to handle some of their questions about faith and guide those conversations. And if you want to explore some light-hearted questions with the children in your life, check out the I’ve Got Questions series. The best part is that the answers are included in the book!
Crystal Bowman is a former preschool teacher, award-winning author, national speaker, and Mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She has written more than 100 books for children, three books for women, numerous magazine articles, and Bible study materials. She also writes stories for Clubhouse Jr. magazine and lyrics for children’s piano music.
She has written books for many popular children’s series, such as Little Blessings, BOZ the Bear, and I Can Read! She has co-authored Our Daily Bread for Kids, My Mama and Me, and M is for Manger with her daughter, Teri McKinley. She and her husband live in Florida.
Teri McKinley grew up in the world of publishing, attending book signings and book conventions with her mother, Crystal Bowman. She began writing stories in elementary school and her love for writing grew in college. In addition to co-authoring several award-winning books with her mother, Teri has written greeting cards for Discovery House. Teri and her husband live in Texas and serve in several ministries at their church. Above all, Teri’s favorite job is being a mom to their son.
Head to Tyndale.com today to discover additional books written by Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley.