In this season of Ramadan when many families are seeking Allah in a challenging way especially during our long daylight hours here in the UK, how do the children view God at this time and how can they learn to love God?
Christians differ from Muslims in that we focus on the mediator between God and man, the Son of God Himself, Jesus Christ. Without Him and having faith in Him it is impossible to please God (see Hebrews 11:6) so as the Church of England denomination advocates in their early writings, we exist to love God and enjoy Him forever.
Children have a natural way of engaging with God. When they see a butterfly or a rainbow, for example, there is a ‘wow’ element in their response. The creation around them is screaming at them that there is a wonderful Creator behind all that they can see, touch, smell, hear and taste who is humorous, too – just look at a giraffe!.
So how can we adults help our children to love God:
1 Encourage in children a grateful attitude to all that is around them especially of God’s creation.
2 Specifically help children to give God thanks to things that happen to them in their daily activities.
3 Teach them to pray asking for what they need (and want) and seeing how God answers their simple requests
4 Buy and read from a children’s Bible – there are plenty on the market and so colourful and relevant. As children get older, then of course, they can read it for themselves. The Good News Bible, in particular, can be read by 9+ year old children.
5 Learn the 10 commandments with your children and explain that these really make two big commandments that Jesus himself mentioned (see Matthew 22:37) – i.e.love God and love others.
6 Sing songs about the greatness of God. There are many that can be accessed on the internet.
7 Giving children the opportunity to be born again (see John 3) so that they can start a journey with God that will lead them to connect with God, through Jesus Christ, not only here on earth but beyond this life.
If other materials are needed to fan the flame of love that children can have for God, we would recommend ‘The Creation Series’ which can be read to 3-4 year olds but can be read by most other children, too. The visual impact of this series of books will really bless your children with little things to find in the illustrations and general knowledge features.
May you have fun as you and your children love God together!