5 Common Answers to Kids’ Questions about God That Can Do More Harm Than Good
by Natasha Crain
A couple of years ago, my husband and I were invited to a dinner party with a few other new parents from our kids’ Christian elementary school. After we worked our way through appetizers and the requisite small talk, the conversation turned to our respective faith backgrounds. One of the moms confessed that, as much as she loved the Lord, she struggled with how to share her faith with her son—so she had enrolled him at a Christian school where others might be able to do a “better job.”
Another mom replied, “Well, I don’t worry too much about it. I just tell my daughter that believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus. Some people believe, and some don’t. It’s a matter of faith.”
I glanced over at the mom who said that, ready to laugh with her at the idea of placing God and Santa in the same category.
But she wasn’t laughing.
She had just matter-of-factly shared what she honestly thought was a helpful way of explaining belief in God’s existence to her daughter.
Now, if an atheist had overheard this dinner party conversation, he or she would have delighted in my friend’s comparison of God and Santa because that’s precisely how atheists want us to think . . .
- God and Santa: two entities with no evidence to demonstrate their existence.
- God and Santa: childish beliefs people should outgrow once they understand there’s no evidence to demonstrate their existence.
Without realizing it, this mom was playing right into the hands of atheists. She was talking about God in a way that could actually damage her daughter’s faith eventually, given the types of challenges she’s likely to encounter.
As Christian parents, it’s critical that we understand our job isn’t to just talk about God in any way we can.
How we talk about God matters.
I was reminded of this fact—and my God vs. Santa experience—when I joined a Christian parenting Facebook group recently. Within a couple of days, I saw someone post that her 12-year-old son was suddenly struggling to believe in God and was asking his mom how we know God exists. She asked the group what she should tell him.
Dozens of parents chimed in, but almost all of the answers offered were in the “God and Santa” category—answers that can actually do more harm than good. It was really disheartening.
So today I want to share five kinds of responses I saw—and see often—that we should avoid when our kids ask questions about God’s existence…
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