How to Help Your Kids Understand God’s Love

As good parents, we’re always thinking about what our kids need.  From a mother taking prenatal vitamins in the earliest stages of pregnancy, to a father saving for his child’s college fund, we’re constantly thinking about how we can provide for our kids.

Their greatest need, however, is love.   Not just any kind of love, but the unconditional, secure love that comes from God.

Rick Warren, author the Purpose Driven Life, said it like this, “Out of all the conversations parents need to have with their children, one of the first and most important is telling children that God created them and loves them. Until our children understand that they were made by God and for his pleasure, life will not make sense.”

It’s not enough for kids to know God loves them. They need to understand how God’s love works and makes a real difference in their lives.  If kids don’t understand how God’s love can change them, it will cripple with their spiritual lives and lead to all kinds of problems including struggles with:

  • Perfectionism
  • Insecurity
  • Shame
  • Low self-esteem
  • People-pleasing
  • Legalism (religion over relationship)
  • Judgmental attitude

On the other hand, if we can help our kids get their heads and hearts around the reality of God’s love and how it works in their lives, they can experience freedom, confidence and spiritual growth.

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Finding the Open Trunk

trunk

You may be surprised to hear that I don’t rescue babies every day.  It was just the one time at the zoo. My wife and I were on our way in from the parking lot when I spotted a lady tapping on her car window.  She was talking to someone inside and looked desperate, so I stopped to help.

It turns out she was a babysitter.  And where was the baby?  Sitting in her carseat inside the locked car with the engine running.  Munching on Cheerios.

I’m guessing later in the morning the babysitter was planning on giving the kid some lead paint and letting her run with scissors.  Throw in some candy from strangers and she would have a lock on the “Worst Babysitter of All Time” award.  Not exactly Mary Poppins.

But at least she had a plan.  She was trying to get the kid to unlock the door.  “Come on honey,” she said.  “You can do it.  Just pull it up.”  Unfortunately the baby couldn’t have been more than 16 months old and, even though she wasn’t strapped in her carseat, she didn’t look like she had a lot of experience with manual locks.

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Attack of the 100 Foot Hypocrite

Godzilla

You can’t find a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than watching Godzilla movies.  At least, that’s how I felt when I was five.  WDRB-41 used to run monster movies on the weekends, and I ate up every second.  How could you not love watching a 17 story fire-breathing lizard enjoy a night on the town?  We’re talking classic cinema here.

King Kong was cool, but c’mon, Godzilla breathed fire.  Fire!  When you’re a five-year-old boy, this is as good it gets.

Unfortunately, as I grew older, I began to notice a peculiar drawback with the Godzilla films.  Everybody talked funny.  Their mouths weren’t moving in sync with their words.  In fact, it looked like they were saying one thing, but I was hearing something altogether different.

Yes, as I grew older, bad dubbing ruined Godzilla for me.  My childhood symbol of unstoppable awesomeness changed to inescapable silliness.  Even as a kid, I learned that’s it’s terribly confusing, ridiculous even, when someone’s words and actions don’t match up.

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