Teaching a 5yr old about God

Tonya - posted on 01/19/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My son has been asking many questions related to God and why He lets bad things happen to people. This is such a hard concept for adults to try to understand sometimes much less a 5 year old. We tell him how good and loving God is but he is trying to understand that if God is so good why do bad things happen. For example: "Why does God make it so cold when He knows there are poor people who can not afford coats and they will freeze to death?" I could use some wisdom as to what I can tell him that he can understand.

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Tonya - posted on 01/22/2009

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Thank you so much for the help ladies.  Your answers are very helpful.  We do go to church and I think checking out our resources there would be a good idea.  Sometimes I feel so unqualified to be my son's mommy.  He has a wonderful imagination but that wonderful brain can make him come up with some pretty overwhelming questions.  I think some of these questions are coming from interactions with other kids of different faiths or no faith at all at his preschool.  I look forward to having christianity taught to him at the christian kindergarten he will be attending in the fall.  Thanks for your time and thoughts!

Tina - posted on 01/22/2009

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Do you attend church? Maybe the pastor can help you with these wonderful, thoughtful questions.

Valerie - posted on 01/22/2009

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These are all amazing answers! I want to file them away for myself! The only thing I would add is that we are supposed to be an example of what Jesus is like. So while people make decisions that could hurt others or themselves, we are supposed to show love and help. Stress that when there is pain and sufferring in the world that sometimes God fixes those problems by using us to help. Basically, God may not always perform "miracles" but use us to create that miracle instead.

Crystal - posted on 01/22/2009

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Tough questions for a little guy!!! I would start by explaining that the earth sleeps thru the winter (as Heather suggested). I would also explain that God is love, and does not and can not do anything that is not love, because that is what he is. However, we chose to go our own way, and God will not force us to follow his way. He wants us to love him because we want to, not because he says we have to. God wants us to show compassion for the poor. Maybe take your son, round up some gently used winter gear and donate it to a local charity that gives coats to the homeless. Or go help at a soup kitchen or something. Show your son that people do help the poor, and that it is very important. God does not want to see any of his children suffering any more than we want to see our child in pain, but we have to turn to him and ask him for help. When my daughter asks tough questions, I try to answer as fully as I can, and answer any additional questions that she comes up with. I am often surprised by how much of what I say she understands. There have been a time or two that I have had to say, let's ask pastor or your sunday school teacher. Maybe we can learn together, and that's great too.

Heather - posted on 01/22/2009

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When my son's ask questions along those lines I try to take out the negative part and make it simple. I explained to my oldest son (6 yrs) that God made everything to have a time of rest, kind of like we sleep at night the earth sleeps in the winter. If it stayed warm all year, the flowers wouldn't be blooming in the spring. Everything needs to rest or it can get cranky just like us sometimes. God doesn't want his people to freeze to death, there are homeless shelters, and churches willing to help those who are in need, but first they need to ask.  In the same way that if we want Jesus to be our best friend we need to ask him. 

JuliAnne - posted on 01/22/2009

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Tonya, I've got the same questions from my 5yr old daughter! I have found that her walk with Christ is opening new doors for me to understand and grow with the Lord. Recently, I have found a new devotional book and kids website that is geared just to young kids. They even have a kids message board that is monitored for Christian kids to talk SAFELY with other Christian kids. Taylor LOVES her Keys for Kids...it's a whole new way for us to do devotionals and talk about God's love for us. Check out www.cbhMinistries.com. Subscriptions to Keys for Kids is free..and your son will probably LOVE getting it in the mail every other month like my daughter does. These stories are written in Kids language, and may really help him to grasp some of the concepts that we, as parents, may not always have the answer in kid-format.

Sharla - posted on 01/21/2009

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Wow, Tonya! Your son is very intuitive to be putting that together already at 5. You may have already said this to him but I would say something like, "Honey, I cannot answer that question fully for you. You know, alot of people have that same question too, including me at times. The only thing I can say to that is that God is a big God. He loved all of us enough to send His Son to die for us on the cross (however you have already introduced this part is fine). So, if bad things happen it is because He most likely has something for his children to do to be a part of it." You could then introduce the pricipal that we are the body of Christ, many members, etc. Go on to say, "God creates moments for His Children to get involved with others to love them like He does.

That may mean helping someone who is cold by giving them a blanket or a place to stay that is warm. When His children to what they should it is wonderful! People want to know Jesus because of it. Sadly, they don't always do what they should. When that happens we have to trust that God will take care of the rest. God can use life and death sometimes to teach people and to bring others to Him. His mind doesn't waste anything. So if someone cries, or dies, or suffers, He promises to be with them and to care for them always. He has it all in His control. That is what I know, but God is still teaching me too!" I hope this helps. My child has not asked that question directly, but I would say something to that effect if he did. Good luck and let me know if that helps!

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