This item was first published on my original website “First Lessons in Christian Science” back in the early 2000’s, as part of my tips for teaching young children Sunday School lessons at home.
INTRODUCING CHILDREN TO THE CONCEPT OF GOD
By Vicki Cole
Very young children understand the concept of a father and mother. Use this to teach them about God, who is the Father and Mother of everyone. Talk about the nice qualities of moms and dads, and then relate them to God. Make sure your kids see you praying to God, and
studying the Bible. When they are curious, they might ask you who this God is you’re always talking about. You can explain that even though we can’t see Him with our eyes, He is everywhere. Show them how the wind affects the leaves on a tree, etc., yet we can’t see the wind. We can sometimes hear God in our thoughts, if we listen closely.
Since you may also be reading children’s books and fairy tales to them, pre-school age children will be learning about kings and queens, and how they rule over their kingdoms. You can introduce the idea of the kingdom of God, of heaven, and that we are the sons and daughters of this King. God is all-powerful and governs all the subjects of His kingdom.
Expand on this subject and how God rules over us.
Children appreciate the comfort of a loving embrace, and you can tell them about the love
of God, which comforts us with loving thoughts and a warm sense of belonging to Him. Introduce them to the concept of angels, God’s messengers, which bring to us the spiritual ideas that we need in times of fear or doubt, or to protect us when necessary. You can read to them the Bible stories that include angels, and discuss with them the citations from Mrs. Eddy’s writings which describe angels. Have your child learn to stop and listen for angels when they need help. At bedtime, you can remind them that God’s angels are watching over them through the night.
Introduce your children to the Bible. Show it to them, and as much as they can understand, discuss the history of how the Bible came about. If you need to, do some background reading of your own to learn more about Bible history. Explain to them that the Bible is the “Word” of God, His special message to mankind. Tell them God speaks to us through the lives of the people in the Bible. We learn the lessons that the Bible characters had to learn. We get to know God better by reading the Bible and by praying to Him.
Teach them simple prayers. Mary Baker Eddy gives one for the little children, which goes:
“Father-Mother God, Loving me, —
Guard me when I sleep;
Guide my little feet Up to Thee.”
Make prayer part of their morning and bedtime routines, although don’t force this on them if
they are not in a mood to do so. Most little children, though, will love the comfort of a routine of prayer at night. They can also start learning the words to the Lord’s Prayer, and as they get older, add in the spiritual interpretation given by Mrs. Eddy in the chapter “Prayer”
in Science and Health.
One of my favorite poems about God when I was growing up went like this:
“I know that God is where I am — beneath, around, above;
providing, guarding, guiding; encircling me in love.”
You can teach them hand movements to go with the words, and say this in the morning.
Your own life is the best example for your children. If you can, talk openly about God and how much you appreciate His relationship to you.
Copyright 2016, 2001