6 Basic Truths Your Kids Need to Know About God

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed as a parent of young children. I know this because parenthood turns what would otherwise be a low bar of expectation into the mark of notable accomplishment. So, for example, you’re encouraged when you’ve gone a whole month without finding any new bite marks on inanimate objects around your house. Or you say things to yourself like, “At least he was wearing pants. That’s something.”

Against that backdrop, taking on the responsibility of educating your children about God and the Bible can seem like an awfully big mountain to climb. But we don’t have to have every answer to provide our kids with solid, foundational truths on which their faith can firmly rest. With that in mind, here are six basic, but really important truths to communicate and reinforce with your kids.

1. God is good.

God never does evil. He always does the right thing. That means he always the hero in the story. In fact, the way we know whether something is good or bad is by finding out what God thinks about it. And we learn that by reading what he says and does in the Bible.

The idea here is to help your kids understand two things. First, they can always count on God to be good. And second, we don’t invent or determine what is good and right. So what’s most important is not what we think, or what our friends think, but rather what God says is good.

2. God hates sin.

Not only does God not do wrong things, but he hates it when we do them, that is, when we don’t listen to and obey him. We don’t want to gloss over this fact with our kids. But we should make sure our kids know that one of the reasons he hates sin is because it’s not good for us when we do it. We actually hurt ourselves and others when we disobey God. Far better to trust the one who made us and knows exactly what we need to be happy.

An understanding of these things will allow our kids to cultivate the proper attitude toward sin. And that is crucial for them to appreciate and pursue the grace of the gospel.

3. God is loving and gracious.

God cares for his people very deeply. And the greatest way he has shown us this is true is by sending us his Son, Jesus. He died on the cross so we wouldn’t have to, taking the punishment we deserved for disobeying God. And because of what Jesus has done for us, God forgives us, welcomes us into his family, and gives us a new life so that we’ll be with him forever.

Because God is good/righteous, he can’t just ignore our sin. But because he’s loving and gracious, he gives us a way to deal with it. This are the crucial twin truths of the gospel. And when we understand just how much God has done for us in Jesus, we’re much more likely to trust him going forward. This will also help our kids begin to develop a healthy, biblical conception of love—which is one of the more widely defined words in our culture.

4. God is powerful.

God created everything we see around us, from the tiniest ant to the greatest mountain. He put all the water in the oceans and all the stars in the sky. No one is as strong as he is, and nothing is too hard for him. And that means that God can always protect his people and defeat his enemies.

Understanding God’s power is essential for our kids. It means they can trust in his ability to fulfill his promises. It helps them realize the simple truth that we are not him—God is far greater than we are. And when we add his power to his goodness, we can see why it makes even more sense for us to follow and and not oppose him.

5. God is near.

God isn’t a faraway God. He’s never distracted from paying attention to us. We’re never alone. He’s always walking with us in every situation. So he knows what’s happening in our lives and can give us whatever we need: strength, hope, courage, comfort, and so on.

A quick story to illustrate why this truth matters. As a concrete way to grasp the fact that he is near, a friend of ours used to encourage her young daughter to imagine Jesus walking with her, holding her hand. Then, on the first day of school, she watched her daughter walk into class with her hand held out, clearly calling his presence with her to mind.

6. God’s plan never fails.

God wants the best for his people, and he knows what needs to happen for us to get it. So, just like an author writing a book, he is guiding our story to a perfect ending. Even if it seems to us like there are many twists and turns, God knows the path we need to take, and his power and wisdom will make sure we get where we need to go.

Life in a fallen, broken world is often difficult, even bewildering. But God’s sovereign wisdom and power provide the sure footing for our kids to manage the challenging terrain.

So no, you might not be able to prevent your living room from looking like a location shoot for “Toypocalypse III: Revenge of the Legos.” But you might be surprised at how effective you could be in helping your kids understand these six foundational truths over time.

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