Everyone is always curious about how teaching a college class goes… what I do-etc. I am so blessed that I teach at a college that is a Christian College and part of our classes are devoted to teaching students how to incorporate their love for Christ into not only their teaching, but their lives. Here is just an example of a student asking ME a question on our discussion thread this week- thought I would share…
I have some questions for you. I am just trying to learn a little bit more about ways of sharing the Gospel with young students so that they can understand it. What age did you share the Gospel with your own kids? Do you have any ideas about how to explain to students that do not understand this at all?
Great Question! My kids were almost “born” in church. I taught them about God almost from birth. God was a true presence in our house. I adopted my older, now 10 yr old son, taking him home at 2 days old. He was 7 days old his first day in church- we sat on the front row- and I never left him in the nursery because he was a good baby. As he grew and focused- he loved the music, etc. Finally, I had to put him in the nursery, however, because when he began verbalizing- he seemed to think the pastor was talking right to him and would try to “talk” back- yelling, laughing… it was sweet! He knew the word before he could even speak!
As my children get older- they ask questions about aspects of Christianity that confuse them. When they are younger, they take what we teach them at face value… when we speak of God as our Father- His love for us- stories in the bible…. they just accept it. As they age and get more real world experience… they begin to question naturally… my sons big questions of the week… “how many people is God- He is God, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit… how can he be one person? How can He be everyone’s father?” My 13 yr old daughter’s question… How old is God? Why did God give us free love? Does God love murderers? … So, I guess it is something that is a fluid explanation- a fluid teaching- always evolving- answering questions, expanding explanations…
Explaining Christianity to children who do not grasp it can be difficult, but I think using examples from real life can really help.. what I mean is when my daughter asked this week about free will and if God loves murderers… and HOW could He love murderers… I finally explained it to her in a bit of a crazy way… I asked if she remembered a cartoon we watched where the woman was trying to get a love potion to make the prince fall in love with her… and how when the prince came to himself- the love was just a lie… I explained that free will is very similar… God could have created a world full of people who would just love him no matter what- never questioning- walking around loving him and nothing more… he could have MADE them love Him… BUT- instead, He gave us free will… and we are able to choose to believe or not- to love Him or not. He wants us to love Him and follow Him- believe Him… but He gives us the “option” through free will. If he forced us to love Him- it would be like the prince- but because we are FREE to do so- He knows our love for Him is real… We also talked about how He is our Father- and loves us unconditionally… no matter what we do- what we look like- what we wear… just like I love them- no boundaries. So- even when one of my children do things that make me sad- even break my heart- I NEVER stop loving them. God- our Father- loves us unconditionally. When we sin- be it lying, cheating… or even taking the life of another- YES- He is sad… but His love never ends for us with our actions. True Love is unconditional and it is forever!
So- I say all of that to say we have to bring things they cannot understand to a place they DO understand- just as we do in our classrooms. We try to utilize prior knowledge to lead them to new knowledge… bridge the gap. If a child does not understand God- then give them examples they do understand to bridge that gap… Does that make sense?
Does anyone have anything to add? Here is Valerie’s question- please answer if you can!
Thanks! I have some questions for you. I am just trying to learn a little bit more about ways of sharing the Gospel with young students so that they can understand it. What age did you share the Gospel with your own kids? Do you have any ideas about how to explain to students that do not understand this at all?