How would your kids react if you told them you were heading out on a trip to Disney World tomorrow? Would that good news thrill them? I’m guessing they would probably jump up and down, maybe yell with excitement, and want to share their happiness with all of their friends.
How can you foster that kind of enthusiasm in your kids when they think about the good news of the gospel? It can be daunting to think about teaching your children to love and follow Christ. We often feel unequipped to be the teacher in this case. But, take heart, it’s really not that hard! Below are four simple ways you can help your little ones develop a love and passion for what God has done for them.
1. Meet them at their level. Use age appropriate language and activities as you introduce your children to the greatest story ever told. If you are talking above their level, boredom can set in and their attention will wander—along with their little bodies. Presenting the gospel at a level they can understand will not only encourage learning but will also help it stick with them for the rest of their lives. If you are looking for a book to help explain the gospel in a simple, but profound way, take a look at Wow! The Good News in Four Words by Dandi Daley Mackall. You and your kids will love it!
2. Make it interactive. Children are kinesthetic learners, meaning they tend to learn by physically engaging in the learning process. Studies show that kids retain more information when they use multiple senses as they take in new concepts. You can capitalize on this by playing games, creating opportunities for them to recreate what they have learned through artistic expression such as coloring and painting, and acting out various Bible stories together.
3. Engage kids in the learning process. Think of ways your children can help you research Bible stories, figure out the meanings of words they don’t already know, and learn more about the cultural and geographical background of a Bible story. The more they are responsible for learning themselves, the more they will remember as they grow up.
4. Let them see your love for God and His story. One of the most important things you can do as a parent is to model a genuine love and thankfulness to God for who He is and all He has done for us. Children are very perceptive, and your authentic excitement for the gospel will help to create a desire in them to build the same type of relationship with their Heavenly Father.
Developing a love for God and an attitude of gratefulness for what He has done for us can be a delight for you as a parent and a life-changing experience for your child. Start today and watch your kids flourish as they grow to love the One who created them.
Linda Howard is Associate Publisher for Kids and Youth products at Tyndale House Publishers. She has been with Tyndale since 2007.