Friday, March 30, 2012

What I Teach My Kids About God: From A Doubting Father

I am the first to admit that I don't have everything figured out when it comes to God. I am uncertain about things, I doubt, and I question everything. Sometimes my best answer is, "I have no idea."

I've been asked, many times, questions like, "what are you going to teach your children about God?"

In fact, I ask myself that question quite often. And sometimes, its seems my children are teaching me more about God than I am teaching them.

But Here are just a few of my thoughts, as a doubting, questioning father who loves Jesus, on what we will/do teach our kids about God.

God is like Jesus.
Im not concerned with teaching my 5 year old a bunch of "doctrines" or making sure my children can recite creeds. First and foremost I want to teach my kids to love and live like Jesus. And that's what We focus on... The characteristics and the life of Jesus. We talk about how Jesus loved everyone and how he loved those people that no one else loved, even people who mistreated him. We talk about how Jesus didn't hit people or justify violence... Ever. And we talk about how Jesus came to show us what God is like.

We read the Bible together.
I love the Bible, and turns out so do my kids. We read from a children's Bible of course, so no, its not the inspired King James, (and yes, we skip some parts, even in the children's Bible) but simply reading the stories sparks questions and conversations, especially with my five year old who just recently said (while crying pitiful tears), "Daddy, I don't want God to take us to heaven because God want take our house and my toys." I was happy to tell her that the Bible actually says God is bringing heaven here!(Rev 21:3-4) She was glad to hear that as well.

We are comfortable with uncertainty and not having the answers.
I'm ok with not having all the answers to my kid's questions. And my daughter can ask some doozies. I think sometimes as parents we worry too much about giving our kids the perfect, right answer when we ourselves are unsure, and so we make up something that sounds good at the time or will at least satisfy their curiosity. I've gotten over this. Sometimes the best answer is simply "I don't know". it's ok not to know.

And that would be the basis of what we teach our kids about God... Jesus loves people... God is like Jesus... God is good. And then, we as parents, try to live like Jesus in our daily lives for our children to see...

And sometimes we fail miserably.


Paul said...

Perfectly said my friend. If we teach them to be like Jesus, many of the other questions will be irrelevant anyway. We live in a church culture that says "I dont know" equals a lack of belief.

Truth is the greatest believers in scripture were often saying "I dont know."

JustinGaynor said...

Good word Jacob...