Admit it. When you read the title of this post, your first thought was probably about teaching kids to “be good” or “do good”. Christianity is much more than being and doing good though. At it’s core is the story of God who lovingly created a world, but more importantly, us.
It’s about how God created not only a good, but a perfect world for us to inhabit. It’s about how even when Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin – destroying the perfect world – God still allowed good things in the Fallen World. It’s about how His love sent His son to die on the cross so we can spend eternity in a perfect world – Heaven.
Spend some time helping your kids see the good in the world. Make sure they understand ALL good things come from God – even if it appears they were created by man. Recognizing the good in God is an important Christian Life Skill. Understanding the story of “good” will help your kids understand God did not create commands and principles to keep them away from good things, but to help them find the best possible life in this fallen world.
Understanding the good in God will paint a more accurate picture of God, hopefully creating in them a desire to worship, obey and serve Him all the days of their lives. So what are some fun ways to help kids find the good in God?
- Take them places where they can appreciate God’s creation. Whether it’s the Grand Canyon, a zoo or you own backyard, our world is full of God’s good – and amazingly beautiful – creation. Encourage kids to take photos or draw what they see. See if they can appreciate what God thinks is good – like colors, sounds, textures, smells and even humor. Especially point out the great variety in creation. God obviously wanted to create something for everyone and enough so we can never claim to be bored with it.
- Take them places where they can appreciate the intelligence and talents God gave people to create good things. Go to museums. Admire architecture. Visit craft fairs. Take factory and farm tours. There are lots of good things that appear to be created by humans, but would have been impossible without God creating the intelligence, talents and more needed to create these things. Point out why God allows and even gave humans the ability to continue creating good things. (Hint: It has something to do with us being created in the image of God – the Creator.) Discuss the ways in which God may want them to be creative and create good things.
- Give them opportunities to discover what God gave them the talents to create. There is joy to be found in creating things – even if they aren’t the best in the world. Give your kids opportunities to experiment with a lot of different things. They may enjoy creating new recipes, or painting, or music, or writing, or speaking. They may enjoy creating new ways to exercise or new plays. The only way they will discover their gifts from God is by experimenting. If you have the money, classes are great, but often you can find people who will let your kids try activities for free or a couple of dollars. Give your kids the gift of knowing God is so good, He created them to create things too.
- Surround them with good things. Philippians 4:8 talks about thinking on things that are good (and other positive things). I think the opposite can easily and correctly be inferred from the passage as well. Don’t let your kids watch “dark” tv shows or movies, play mature video games, or even read the dark books that are so popular with kids and teens. Even secular studies are showing these things have an extremely negative impact on the well-being of all of us. Instead surround your kids with things that are lovely and good. It doesn’t cost any more to be surrounded by good things than dark, evil things and they can have a tremendous positive impact on your kids.
There are so many more good things in this world and lots of fun ways to expose your kids to them. Taking the time and effort to point out how God is good and ALL good things come from Him is definitely worth the time and effort!