In the past three years, my husband and I have both lost our moms. Walking through illness and asking God for healing that we know He may or may not bring is hard with children who are watching and learning about faith. The beauty of childlike faith is that in their innocence they find it easy to believe. Most children have not experienced the reality of deep disappointment that often shakes the faith of the rest of us. So how do we share faith with our children when we ourselves have had our faith tested?
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) says:
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
The very definition of faith as expressed by the writer of Hebrews focuses on the hope and conviction of our faith and not on the results. Though many of the Bible stories we use to share faith with our kids have positive endings, it’s important to highlight the journey and act of faith before the outcome. This will build a faith in our children that is focused on their relationship with Jesus rather than merely what he can do for them. Though we believe and do not doubt, God may not do everything we ask of Him in faith because He knows better than we do exactly what we need in each situation. And this is perhaps the greatest lesson of faith – believing without doubt and trusting Him whatever the outcome.
Three Bible Stories That Teach Kids About Faith
David and Goliath
1 Samuel 17:45-47:
“Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down. . .that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.’”
By faith, we can do incredible things that will ultimately bring glory to God. David was a small boy compared to his brothers, but he did big things like protect his sheep from wild animals and save his people by slaying Goliath. Share with your child that no matter how limited they feel by their age or abilities, they can do amazing things through faith and for the glory of God. If they do not understand what glory means, explain that bringing glory to God means we point others to him and show through our own lives that he is a powerful God.
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
Learn more about David & Goliath in What’s In The Bible? DVD 5 “Israel Gets A King”.
Jesus Calms the Storm
“And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him saying, ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing.’ And he said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?’ Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
Jesus asks us to have faith and tells us not to be afraid. Use this story to share that Jesus will always help us but he wants us to have faith and not doubt that he is there. Whether they need help on a test at school or when they are fearful to try something new, Jesus will strengthen them through their faith in him.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed: I will strengthen you, I will help you.” Isaiah 40:10
Learn about Jesus and his miracles in DVD 10 “Jesus Is The Good News!”
If You Have Faith Like a Mustard Seed. . .
Matthew 17:20 ESV:
He said to them, “…For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Our faith does not need to feel big or perfect or complete. It just needs to be present. Jesus encourages his disciples that even a little faith will go a long way. Encourage your child to tap into the smallest grain of faith they can find in their heart when they come up against something hard and God will meet them where they are.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
What verses or stories are you using to teach your kids about faith? Have you found it hard to share faith with your children as your own faith is challenged?
Originally published in April of 2016.
Jessica Wolstenholm is co-founder of Grace for Moms. After 15 years in the music and publishing industries, Jessica came home to be with her two small children. Although the transition from the corporate world to the playground has been an adjustment, she is learning every day to access the grace available to us through Christ as she navigates the full time job of motherhood. She is the co-author of The Pregnancy Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey to Motherhood and The Baby Companion: A Faith-Filled Guide for Your Journey Through Baby’s First Year. Jessica lives in Nolensville, TN with her husband, Dave and two miracle babies, Hope (5) and Joshua (2).