How to talk to your Kids about God (and other Spiritual things)

How to talk to your Kids about God (and other Spiritual things)

What do I do if my kid or grandkid asks me a question about God and I have no idea how to answer them?

What’s the difference between God and Santa? If God loves us so much why does bad stuff happen? Will Fluffy (or Samson or Prince) go to Heaven when they die? If you have kids, you might have been confronted with questions from their curious little minds and even though you’re smiling because they’re so curious, inside you might be saying “Help! I have no idea what to tell them!”

Well, you’re not alone. I’ve written more than fifteen faith-based books for kids including one called Kids Big Questions for God and I’m still stumped by elementary school aged kids and their amazing questions.

Just last week at a Christian school chapel a second or third grader asked me why Jesus didn’t warn His disciples they were about to encounter a storm in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. Whoa. Where did that come from? And why didn’t He?


So how do you talk about Spiritual things with your young kids? And where do you look for answers to their perceptive and sometimes puzzling questions about God, Jesus, and heaven?

Well here are few things to think about:

Consider your kid’s age as you start the conversation.

Talking about if dogs go to heaven or why bad things happen in this life can look a lot different if you’re talking to a seventh grader or a preschooler. Make sure you meet your child where they are in their development. Use age-appropriate words and make sure they’re following you. As much as possible, let them lead the discussion. Even if they get off track or lose their concentration, the fact that they feel safe enough to come to you with their “God questions” is a win.

Go to the Source. The Bible. And phone a friend.

It’s tempting I know to make up a good sounding answer for your child, but always go to the source- God’s Word when you’re answering their questions about spiritual things. This might require you to say, “You know I’m not sure about that. Let me check a few things out and get back to you.” At this point, you might go to your Bible and see what it has to say or better yet, talk to a Christian friend who’s been around a while and ask the for advice. They might be able to send you right to the chapter and verse that will help you out.

Some simple answers to some Kids’ Questions 

Who created God?

This seems to be one of the most popular questions I hear from young kids. Because everything in our experience had a beginning- the tree in your front yard, your house, their school, even all of us, it’s natural to think God had a beginning too. Let your child know that according to the Bible God has always been around and he always will be. He lives outside of time so we can’t measure Him the same way we measure everything He’s created.

Why does bad stuff happen?

The short answer to this is we’re not always sure. How come a wonderful Christian woman gets sick? Why are there natural disasters? What about people who don’t have enough to eat? For over 3000 years people have been struggling with these questions. But often hard things and challenges in our lives cause us to draw closer to God. He doesn’t create bad stuff in our lives, but He’ll use it if it means getting closer to Him. Since having a relationship with us is God’s number one priority He’ll even allow hard things if it means we’ll cling closer to Him.

cat with a halo

Will there be animals in heaven? 

There are a few verses in the Bible that indicate that yes, there may be animals in Heaven. First, when God created a perfect place- the Garden of Eden- it was full of animals. It seems like a perfect place like Heaven might also be filled with our furry friends. Also, the Old Testament book of Isaiah mentions that when God comes back and sets things right in the future, animals will be right there with us. 

Then wolves will live in peace with lambs.
    And leopards will lie down to rest with goats.        
Calves, lions and young bulls will eat together.
    And a little child will lead them.
Cows and bears will eat together in peace.
    Their young will lie down together.
    Lions will eat hay as oxen do.

Isaiah 11:6-7

How good do I have to be to go to Heaven? 

This is a good question that kids and adults wrestle with all the time. So, what’s the answer? How good do I have to be? Well, the answer is none of us will ever be good enough to reach Heaven on our own! What?!?! That’s not what I want to hear! But the good news is that even though none of us will ever be good enough to reach Heaven, God has another way for us to join Him and live forever in His presence. He sent Jesus to live a perfect life, show us what God the Father was like, and then take our punishment so we won’t ever be separated from God. Since Jesus was perfect, he was the only one who could be our sacrifice. When He died on the cross, He was also separated from His Father. When we believe that and receive Jesus’s gift to us, we get to enter Heven. Not because we’re so good but because Jesus opened the door for us.

If your kids have trouble with the concept of sin, ask them if they’ve ever done anything to hurt themselves or other people. Without making them feel ashamed, let them know that we all do bad things. And since God is perfect, He can’t be friends with us. So He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for us.

What about dinosaurs? Did they really Exist?

Did dinosaurs exist in the garden of Eden, along with Adam and Eve? Or did they go on the ark with Noah and his family? Yikes! What would that have been like? While the Bible isn’t real clear specifically about dinosaurs (the word dinosaur didn’t even exist until 1820), there are a few clues that might make us think there were dinosaurs around with Noah, Adam and Eve, and even a guy in the Bible named Job.Photo of a dinosaur in Noah's Ark

1.Let’s start with Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:24–25 says that God made all the land animals on day six of creation. Since we know from fossils found all over the world that dinosaurs existed, we have to believe that God created them along with the cows, wolves, beavers, and mice.  

2.Since God told Noah to take two each of all the animals onto the ark with him, it follows that he would have taken a couple dinosaurs too. They were probably young ones who wouldn’t take up too much room. Remember, any of the dinosaurs outside the ark when the flood came would have been swept away. That’s probably why we find their fossils in layers of dirt all over the globe.

3.Here’s a really cool thing about the possibility of dinosaurs being mentioned in the Bible. In the book of Job (which rhymes with robe), there’s a creature mentioned that sure sounds a lot like a brontosaurus. According to the description in Job 40:15–22 of this big creature that’s called “one of the first of God’s works,” it “eats grass like an ox,” has strength in his body, has bones that “are like tubes of bronze metal,” and—check this out—has a tail “like a cedar tree” (a cedar tree is tall and thick). This could be describing a crocodile. Or was it a dinosaur, like a brontosaurus, that these verses are talking about? Could be.

Later, dinosaurs died out. That might have been because of their lack of food or lack of a good environment in which to live. Now all we have are fossil bones of the now-extinct dinosaurs.

Did Jesus have any brothers and sisters?

While some people believe that Jesus was an only child (I mean, He was pretty special when you think about it), the New Testament clearly mentions that Jesus had not only brothers but sisters as well. Matthew 13:55–56 mentions his brothers and sisters. The brothers’ names were James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (not the Judas who betrayed Jesus—that was another guy). Sisters are mentioned too, but they aren’t mentioned by name. So yes, Jesus lived in a family a lot like yours! Since Jesus was the Son of God, and Mary was His mother, these other kids were half brothers and sisters to Jesus. Their mom was Mary, but their dad was Joseph. Jesus’s Dad is God.  

kids having fun

A Note of Encouragement:

If your child “stumps” you with a question about the Bible or God, don’t sweat it. Just let them know you’re not sure, but you’ll find out. Check with a friend or pastor and ask them what they think. Then come back and share with your child the answer you received. Be real. Be authentic. It’s okay to say, “I don’t know.”

When bank tellers are trained to spot counterfeit bills they aren’t shown the fake ones. They spend hours looking at, handling and probably even smelling the real thing. That way when something phony crosses their desk something just won’t feel right. If you train up a child to recognize God’s voice in their lives, chances are they’ll spot the phonies no matter what the issue might be later in their lives. If they witness real, authentic, (not perfect!) faith in the lives of their parents and caregivers, they’ll know when the real thing comes along later in their lives.

girl examining counterfeit money

If you want to explore more on this topic, check out my two new books Kids’ Big Questions for God and Kids’ Big Questions About Heaven, the Bible and Other Important Stuff from Revell. 

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