Like a Child

Question: How do you teach a child about child-like faith? Let’s try a multiple-choice answer:

A) You don’t teach a child about child-like faith. You don’t need to. They understand it intuitively.
B) You can’t teach a child about child-like faith. Their minds are too small to comprehend it.
C) You teach a child about child-like faith the same way you teach us older people.

For our “Children’s Moment” during a recent worship service, I put this Bible verse on the big screen before a group of children, although some of them were too young to read it: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

I had already shown the children an image of Peter Pan—the boy who didn’t want to grow up. I asked if they had ever felt that way themselves. I was surprised to receive a couple of sincerely affirmative responses! That’s the honesty of a child.

But how to explain faith to a child? I said to them: “Your body grows; you need milk and other healthy foods. You grow in your mind as you go to school and learn more. But then there’s your spirit, that invisible part of you—inside you— the part of you that knows and loves Jesus. Your spirit starts out as a baby too, just like your body and your mind. But you don’t want to stay a baby in your spirit, and God doesn’t want you to, either. He wants you to grow big and strong.”

The Apostle Peter’s words indicate that this kind of growth comes by drinking spiritual milk, which we understand to be the Word of God. You come to know Christ as his word enters your life, and your newborn spirit grows in the context of relationship with the good and loving Triune God. Though we can’t fully comprehend God, day by day, as we walk with him through life, trusting in his word, we taste that the Lord is good and our faith grows.

So, how do you teach a child about child-like faith? The same way you teach older people. By living with Jesus, trusting in his word, and counting on God to make faith grow.

Rev. Brent Juliot is Contributing Editor of F&F magazine and Pastor of Living Hope Church in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

No Comments