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Teaching Our Children to Trust in God

January 1, 2010

Note: This post also appeared on CBMW ‘s Gender Blog earlier this week.

A few years back, when our daughter was turning two, we began to hear her say more and more things like “I did it” or “I can do it.” She was right. She was able to get up in her high chair, blow her nose, build a Lego tower all by herself.  She could turn on the light, dress her dolls, and talk on the phone. She was turning into a pretty independent little kid. Nowadays, she helps her mom with her two younger siblings.

As parents we watch our children become less and less reliant on us. They become self-sufficient adults. The challenge for us is to preserve their child-like trust in God while they develop into independent adults. Godʼs instruction to us, even parents, is to consider the needfulness of young children and model our trust in God after it.

Very young children rely completely on the provision of their parents.  They have no categories for self-sufficiency.  There is no thought as to where the next meal will comefrom or how they will be clothed. They simply assume it. This isnʼt bold-faced presumption, but child-like trust. This is similar to our needfulness for God. For our very existence, we rely on the provision of God – our Creator.

I want to suggest that the next time your child expresses his/her ability to “do it”, rejoice in their growth, but possibly use it as a teaching moment:

  • Remind them that they are a creature of God. They will never outgrow their needfulness of Him. He is the only one who is fully sufficient in himself.
  • Remind them that they are growing into big girls and boys by his power.
  • Remind them that he ordains their steps.
  • Remind them that he has given us wisdom from his Word to guide and instruct us and apart from this wisdom is destruction.
  • Remind them of men and women who have trusted God in such a way that they have suffered for it.
  • Remind them that they need God as their Father more than they need material possessions.
  • Remind them that we are all sinners that need grace, grace that was given through the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on a cross.
  • Remind them that we need someone else to pay for our sins on our behalf.
  • Remind them of the cost of living their life as if they were independent of God.
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