The Grand Paradox Parent Resources

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Guest Post by Linda VanVoorst

Kids ask lots of questions. They are curious about seemingly everything! Their curious little minds can’t help but question. Teaching kids to live the way God desires also prompts many questions. Often, the answers seem paradoxical.

Imagine a young boy asking his dad “Why do you work so hard, dad?”. His dad might answer something like “I want to do my work well.” The boy extends the logic and says “And because you work so hard, we will have lots of money!”. To the surprise of the young boy, the dad says “Not exactly. You see, I work hard so we can meet our needs and help meet the needs of others.” The little boy might furrow his brow as he tries to formulate his reply. “So you mean you work hard so you can give your money away?” If the dad is honest with his son, he might say “Exactly. It’s not easy. It would be awesome to spend all our money on new toys, big TV’s and vacations. But God wants us to care about others like we care about ourselves. So, we use some of our money on ourselves and some of our money to help others.”

Living the way God desires doesn’t always make sense, especially in light of our culture. Kid logic recognizes that! However, I believe kids can grasp the importance and value of faith. Simply put, faith means loving God and living the way He desires.

I also know that kids can ask questions that often leave parents tongue-tied, making it hard to explain the importance of faith in God and His ways.

As The Grand Paradox was being written, I started to dream about practical ways to begin a similar conversation about faith with kids. How can we teach kids about the messiness of life, the mystery of God and the necessity of faith? How can we begin to answer the questions that kids ask about faith? How can we equip parents to teach kids to live the way God desires?

We had some pretty grandiose ideas, but soon realized the answer was quite simple. First, we needed to figure out what questions kids were asking, then we needed to help parents answer the questions being asked. We thought we could do this and hoped we could make it fun for both parents and kids. Who says living by faith should be boring?

We started by surveying a bunch of kids. When they were not around their peers, we asked, “What is the most confusing part about living the way God desires?”

Stop for a minute. How would you answer?

Their answers were consistent. Nearly every kid we surveyed answered with one of the following questions:

Nobody lives like a Christian. Why should I?

What is God up to?

Why am I here?

Why should I go to church?

We asked kids to elaborate about their question so we could make sure we answered the questions correctly. Then we got to work answering these four questions in a way that explains the beauty of the paradox. After a lot of head-scratching, bible-searching hours, we created a parent resource to accompany Ken’s new book, The Grand Paradox.

This parent resource provides four fun, yet to-the-point, guides designed to help adults answer the four questions listed above in a manner that makes sense to kids while not sugar coating the necessity of faith. For each question, the guide offers:

1. In Other Words: Kids speak their own language. The question is unpacked so parents understand the nature of the child’s question.

2. Important Truth: Keep it simple. There is one important truth we think kids need to know. Here you will find the words to assist you as you help your child understand the necessity of the paradox.

3. In the Bible: Kids want proof. Show them that God desires this type of faith by looking at the suggested story in the bible.

4. Check It Out: Kids often learn best when engaging their senses. Do the suggested activity to help kids wrestle with the important truth.

5. It’s Been Done: Read about a real-life hero who has lived out the important truth! Dream about living out the truth, also.

6. Ask God: Check out this short prayer in light of the important truth.

Each guide also relates to a chapter in The Grand Paradox. If you need more insight to answer the questions that might arise, check out the chapter referenced at the top of each question guide. We hope this hands-on guide aides you as you teach the kids in your life about the messiness of life, the mystery of God and necessity of faith! Download a FREE copy here.

Justice Kids Parent Resource Overview from Ken Wytsma on Vimeo.

Linda

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