10 BIBLICAL TRUTHS ALL CHILDREN NEED TO HEAR
By Brent Rinehart
A report released by Common Sense Media recently shows that kids are spending a lot of time in front of screens. Children under the age of 8 spend a little more than two hours a day watching TV or videos. Kids 8-12 years of age spend more than 4.5 hours using screen media. My kids (ages 9 and 6) definitely crave screen time and we have to guard against its overuse. I think we can all agree that most children could stand to spend more time in active play!
The effects of screen time on our kids are not just physical. There are emotional and spiritual effects as well. Just like the old saying: put bad in, get bad out; put good in, get good out. What we take in matters. Our kids are sponges, absorbing what they see and hear. I’m not here to say that everything our kids digest on screen media is bad. There are some great educational – and Biblical – resources out there. But, if we want to see our kids flourish and be who God wants them to be, we have to make the effort to use what little time we have to impress upon them certain Biblical truths. That may mean changing our habits in the home, reducing their time on TV or tablets, and being more deliberate in talking “about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:7).
Here are 10 essential Biblical truths our children should know…and they should hear from us as parents.
God is eternal. God has always been. In the beginning, He was there. Before anything else existed, He was there and had it all mapped out. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2). And, we see in the book of Revelation: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
God’s everlasting nature, not confined by time, is important for this reason: only an eternal God has the authority to offer us eternal life. When our kids begin to grasp the idea of a God who has always been and will always be, it becomes easier to understand the focus on trusting God to secure their future.
God created everything. I love the creation story and how it puts God’s omnipotence on display. He speaks, and it happens. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1,3). I’ve been fortunate to see a few beautiful places on recent vacations: the expanse of the Grand Canyon and its array of colors near sunset; the peaks of the snowcapped Grand Tetons rising high in Wyoming; the beautiful turquoise waters surrounding St. John and the U.S. Virgin Islands. God is amazing, and we can see Him in nature.
God is not only the creator, He’s creative. It’s mind-blowing to think of how everything in the universe works in concert. Everything is perfectly placed together to bring Him glory. If Earth were any closer to the sun, we’d burn up. If it were any further away, we’d freeze. We can trust a God with this much power and intelligence with anything that we are facing in this life.
God created you. God wasn’t finished when He created land and sky, bird and beast. He had one more masterpiece in store: man. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27). And, it was good. But, He didn’t just create man and woman. He created each man and woman. He knew you before the foundations of the earth.
We were not an accident. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 134:13-14). Understanding the fact that God knew us before the world began gives us hope that He holds us in the palm of His hand.
God is good. There’s nothing that opens your spiritual eyes like parenthood. Raising kids can help you see things from a heavenly perspective. We know what’s good for our kids, and we do our best to protect them from themselves. Yet, they have free will and have to make the right choices along the way.
God is good, and He has our best interests at heart. “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). Our kids need to understand that in whatever they are going through, God is with them. And, He can turn their trials into something good (Romans 8:28).
God loves you. One of the basic truths we can teach our children is that God loves them. But, it’s not just love like our feeble minds understand love. This is different. God’s love is above all other love … He sacrificed His own Son because He loved us so much.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). When we grasp the measures that God went to show us His love, there’s no other appropriate response but to live our lives in full surrender to Him.
God will never stop loving you, no matter what. Isn’t it comforting to know that God’s love wasn’t a one-time thing? He continually loves us, so much so that there’s nothing we can do to make Him stop. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
For our children, this shouldn’t give them license to recklessly live contrary to God’s Word. But, rather, it should give them the freedom to know that God is always there with open arms and forgiveness.
God wants to have a relationship with you. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Our children need to hear about the importance of a relationship with God. Our best life comes when we are plugged into the power source.
When we are connected to God, through His Son Jesus Christ, He gives us His Holy Spirit. His Word even calls him “The Helper.” When we have a relationship with God, which is what He created us for, He sends us someone to help us along the way. And, that’s a comfort to know, since we all face challenges that are impossible to navigate on our own.
God has a purpose for your life. There’s nothing that can drain your hope faster than forgetting your purpose. Perhaps you’ve been in a job where you’ve lost focus. You get in a rut, and your work feels like it doesn’t matter. God has a purpose for each life. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
God created us to make a difference. I love the line from Lecrae’s song “Messengers.” “Don’t have to wonder your purpose or what you here for. Reflect his image and show the world what he cares for.” It should give our children direction to know that God has a plan for them, and He will place them in the situation that brings Him glory and helps others to come to know Him.
God has equipped you to do something special. Isn’t it amazing that no two are the same among nearly 7.5 billion people? Even identical twins, who share the same DNA, are not exactly the same. They have physical differences, personality differences, and even different fingerprints. God has made each person unique, and He has gifted each person in a different way.
“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…” (Romans 12:4-6). Our children have been given something unique and God will use them to do something no one else can do. That’s pretty cool!
God wants to spend eternity with you. It’s hard for young people to think about eternity. It’s too abstract, and let’s face it: kids think they are invincible. They don’t think of life as finite, and death seems too far away. Plus, it feels a little morbid to think about or even talk about it.
But, as our children grow in their knowledge of Biblical truths, they can take joy in knowing what all this means. A God who created you, loves you, has a plan for you also wants to be with you forever! “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3).