What is the best way to teach children about God?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues

What is the best way to teach young children about God? How do you educate them about salvation. All these are very complicated issues.

Who is God?
Why did He create man in His image? What does that mean?

I guess I can explain the flood - and Noah, and I can find a good song that explains it (The animals went into the ark 2, by 2, the animals went into the ark, 2 by 2... the elephant and the kangaroo).

But how exactly do I explain the rest?

How do I tell them about Jesus? and His death on the Cross? WHat words does one use to discuss this topic with little children? How do you explain it?

Here we are, advanced in our age, and yet even we are still understanding what the real meaning of "atonement" is, and what IS Divine Justice.

Any advice would be appreciated.


  • Hi,
    I think you should think of how you first knew about God. I knew from my mom
    and the church, but the earliest memory from my mom. Just reaffirm "Jesus loves you"
    and children believe. Memorizing "Our father who art in heaven... "
    Also, teaching about prayer.
    Basically, there has to be an image of God in the mind of a child as
    their Father who loves them. So, asking questions like, who gave you a wonderful family and home? Who should you thank and ask
    for help? Children are capable of understanding so much. The subject that is very hard is how Jesus saved us. You don't have to explain everything you know now. Just add as you go along. It depends on the age-- I like 5. Sunday School is great because there are other kids. The first Bible is very important at around 6 or 7. Spiritual songs, contests, days at church. Just as long as there is something you started out with when they were young-- something simple that they will always carry with them!!! 4 things, maybe, saint stories, songs, psalm, and a faith in One God that helps all his children. +++
  • very good points. although i would add that the best time to buy a first Bible is the child's baptism. i bought one for my little friend when she was a baby and she treasures it like a jewel, and also shares it with her little brother who is learning to read big books.
    if the child has any books at all, the Bible or simple Bible stories for children should be the first among them.

    i tell them God made everyone because He loves us, he made us smart, so we could chose good or bad, we chose bad, and so that made us far from God, we deserved punishment, but God took the punishment instead and all we have to do is believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus (who is also God) and live like Jesus did when He was on earth.
    if they need more (eg above 4 years old) i explain that God's Spirit is with all of us who believe in Jesus and He helps us to choose to do good. we go to church and fast and pray so that we learn more about God and so that we think about life in heaven and the rewards we get there instead of thinking about earth and out life here (food, clothes, toys) all the time.

    it seems overly simple, and maybe i wouldn't get a theology degree with this, but i think it's a good starting point.
    when i visited my little friends last time the 5 year old boy was asking me a lot of questions about Jesus' death on the cross. in my short answer i emphasized He is alive now and with us, showing us His love and showing us how to live.
    he asked about the robbers and why one of them was so rude to Jesus. i said this robber is like us sometimes when we are grumpy with our brother or sister and don't want to help them. he understood this, and made the connection between his own wrongdoing and those who mocked Jesus as He was dying. then i explained we can all be like the robber who repented, and we should say sorry to God when we do things wrong.

    so the main points are:
    1. keep it simple
    2. let your life be an example of what you believe. children learn more from watching than from words.
  • i used to have a picture bible you should get one and read it to them and if a story isnt their age level don't go into details
  • You have to go in steps, in my opinion. As a small child he will see you as his father and will copy you. So it is important for you and the child to pray together as a family every day. It is also important that things like cable not be utilized, however you can play educational DVD's that will accustom your child to the practices and history of the church. As the child grows, naturally they will ask questions and it is important to be able to answer each one of them, and to teach them about what the world says and why it is not good to listen to it. I dont know if this makes much sense but being that I was not raised Orthodox I had to come up with some way to raise my child as a strong Orthodox believer and not manipulated by T.V. or any other worldly doctrine.
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