Kids Talk About God
by Carey Kinsolving
"I can give all my clothes to charity. Well, at least the ones that don"t fit me," says Kelsey, 10.
Yes, please do keep some clothes for yourself, Kelsey, although that would be a great excuse for staying home from school.
"I should stop fighting with my sister, because fewer people would get hurt," says Kalle, 10.
I"m assuming one of those fewer people getting hurt would be your sister. Kalle, you might also find more peace in your life.
"I should stop aggravating my sister, because she gives everyone a headache when she screams," ( Click for more )
"God is so powerful he could break this school in two," says Kyle, 6. It sounds like it"s a tough day at school, Kyle.
"God is so powerful he can be the best pilot in the Navy," says Zach, 7. I"m sure the midshipmen at Annapolis will sing "Anchors Aweigh" when they read this.
"God is so powerful, he could destroy everything he made in the blink of an eye," says Sarah, 11.
That"s an eye-opening thought and a sobering one. It"s easy to forget the awe-inspiring glory of God"s creation amid the bright lights ( Click for more )
"Freedom means you don"t have to wear your hair a certain way or wear the same shoes as others," says Macon, 11.
Macon, you should meet my friend who has a shoe for every occasion. One time she determined to take control over her sole obsession by donating five large garbage bags of shoes to the Salvation Army. Some had never been worn. Perhaps she thought she could outfit an entire army.
"Freedom is when you smell the beautiful flowers in the cemetery," says Grant, 5. I assume Grant is speaking of those above the ground, not below.
"Freedom ( Click for more )
"In some places without freedom, girls aren"t allowed to go to school," says Haley, age 8. "The only people I can think of who would like that are the boys! Boys in our class torture us!"
One time I asked a girl about the same age as Haley why God created boys. "So you could pester them. I love pestering boys," she replied with a gleam in her eye that could only come from being truly skilled at her craft.
While women who can"t attend school probably feel enslaved, others, like Erin, 6, define freedom as "being out of school on ( Click for more )
"People will know that I am a follower of Jesus if I get caught doing good deeds," says Emma, 8.
Being caught for doing good deeds?
That isn"t the way it worked at the elementary school I attended. But that"s the policy instituted at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy where Emma attends. When students get caught for doing something good, teachers send them to the principal"s office. There they choose a prize from a treasure chest packed with all sorts of goodies.
The only thing I remember about visits to the principal"s office is the ( Click for more )
"We all get so involved in our silly little lives that we have made for ourselves to where we don"t have the time to do anything for God," says Travis, age 12.
Worship is the way we see God"s larger purpose for us. A life of worship usually doesn"t make media headlines, but even the smallest things done in relation to God are significant because they"re part of a grand plan.
Saying you don"t have time to worship God is like saying you don"t have time to breathe. If you don"t breathe, you die. If you don"t worship, you"ll ( Click for more )
"Worshipping God to me means that I can have a connection with him. It"s like I can go to him and worship, and I can lift a heavy burden from my shoulders," says Sarah, 11.
God wants to lift our burdens, but he can"t as long as we"re tightly grasping them. Have you ever noticed how some people derive their identity from their burdens? In worship, we"re caught up in the immensity of God. It"s easier to stop grasping to control our world and to start trusting a loving God who has a bigger plan for us than we can imagine.
The apostle Peter ( Click for more )
"To worship God is paying attention to nobody else but God," says Pruitt, 11. "If you don"t do it, it sort of messes you up. You can worship him anywhere."
"It sort of messes you up" is a great way to describe our preoccupation with ourselves. God wants to take us into a larger place where he"s in control, and we can relax by trusting in him.
Pruitt also says we can worship God anywhere. ( Click for more )
"My mom could mow the yard, feed the dogs, work in the garden and help us with our homework instead of making my dad do it," says Mary, 8. "My mom could also make food for special occasions, go grocery shopping, take us to doctors' appointments, pick our clothes every morning and fix our breakfast, lunch and supper."
Mary, didn't you forget something? In her spare time, your mom could start a business that makes $20,000 a month so you and your dad can spend weekends in the Bahamas and summers at your beach house in the Fiji Islands.
"The men make up the rules," ( Click for more )
"Women play a very important part in a family. They are normally the ones who shop, take care of the child and use the phone a lot," says Andrew, age 11.
For a more succinct version of how wives should submit to their husbands, let's go to Drew, 6: "Be nice, cook him food, do not talk back, and kiss him."
Drew, have you considered life as a bachelor?
Cody, 8, has some thoughts on talking back: "Mom told Dad that bears did talk on the Discovery Channel. Mom argued that bears did not talk with words. Dad said they talked with sounds."
Is this bearing one ( Click for more )
"I love my mom because she is cool. She works in the library, so I do not have any fines," says Katherine, 12.
Having no fines on library books could be important. Recently, I found a library book due in 1976. No, it wasn’t mine. At 10 cents a day for 30 years, that’s $1,095.
I once produced a video for a Mother’s Day live event. Even though I don’t know their names or ages, here are some gems that emerged much to the delight and sometimes to the embarrassment of parents in the audience:
"She laughs really nice. It’s loud, but it’s ( Click for more )
"My daddy works for my mommy and makes money," says Ellen, age 6.
Lance, 6, shares a similar view: "Mama can stay at home, and the mommies can rest. Mommies can ask daddies to go get something, like food for the kids."
Everything really begins at the altar, says Kimberlee, 6: "When the husband got married, he said he would love her and take care of her. When they get married, they say stuff like that."
But there's more than economics and chores, says Elliot, 6: "A husband should hug and kiss his wife, give her flowers and pick up the kids. He should also feed ( Click for more )
"I think husbands can love their wives by showing affection, by saying, 'I love you,' helping with the dishes, cleaning the house and picking up the kids from school," says Karen, age 11. "Or husbands can pay a lot of attention once in a while or maybe cook breakfast in bed."
Cook breakfast in bed? OK, but don't try waffles. Too messy. That reminds me of a refrigerator magnet that read, "If you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen."
"Husbands should love their wives because it is very sweet," says Blake, 8. "You can have a wife that is pregnant ( Click for more )
"A teacher can make a difference by giving less homework, 10 extra minutes for recess, extra field trips and five popcorn parties a day," says Sara, 10.
If kids could vote for and serve as school board members, Sara would win easily.
"Teachers help us learn the skills for later on in life," says Rachel, 11. "I want to be a paleontologist (a scientist who studies dinosaur bones and other prehistoric life)."
Without teachers, you might not even know how to spell "paleontologist."
"When Joash had a good teacher, he became a good king for a 7-year-old. If he ( Click for more )
"Easter means that it's almost like Christmas," says Joe, 8.
I suppose Joe likes toys better than candied eggs. Easter is a time to celebrate, but sometimes chocolate-covered bunnies and eggs get in the way of its true meaning.
"Easter means that Jesus walked down the street and people held palm leaves," says Cory, 9.
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, is a time when Christians celebrate Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Although Jesus rode a donkey instead of walking, Cory is right about the palm leaves.
For people living in a modern ( Click for more )
"If Jesus came with me to school, I would respect him and everyone else, too. I would not hit, would not call people names, and I would not push," says Michael, age 6.
We have a tendency to act one way around some people and put our best foot forward around others. Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." (Matthew 25:40) Oops!
We live in a time when God indwells his people. Living in light of this kingdom reality should elevate relationships with Christians to a different sphere. It should also have a sobering effect ( Click for more )
"I would ask him for all the answers. I would buy him lunch," says Bobby, age 7.
Yes, it would be nice to not study and have the answers to those pesky tests. Then, there's the other trial that takes the fun out of school -- homework.
"I would tell Jesus about the 1,000 pages we have to read," says Eric, 9. "Also, I would tell him about my homework Mrs. Wright gave me."
Eric, do you think Jesus would decrease your reading or homework? Don't count on it. This might be hard for you to believe, but most teachers have the best interests of their students in ( Click for more )
"I won't call names or hit people," says Heather, age 8.
That's a start. Being the light of the world doesn't call for knocking everyone else's lights out. Jesus had something different in mind when he told his disciples: "You are the salt of the earth;" and "You are the light of the world." (Matthew 5:13-14)
"I could give kitties and other things," says Brian, 10. "After that, I could do more kind things and tell people to believe in Jesus to have eternal life."
This sounds like a great strategy to influence cat lovers.
"To set a good ( Click for more )
"God likes it when we do what's right. He likes it because when you do the right thing that is another reason to go to heaven," says Colton, 6.
Good works are never a reason why anyone goes to heaven. Rather, they should be a result of trusting Jesus' work on the cross to pay for one's way to heaven. When you're the beneficiary of God's grace, you're positioned to bless others. Gratitude, not the guilt of trying to earn salvation, should motivate Christians to do good works.
Jesus offended people when he said, "This is the work of God, that ( Click for more )
"When you have a baby sister, and sometimes you trick her, then God will not like that," says Victoria, 8.
Baby sisters seem to have radar for discovering they've been duped -- at least my baby sister did. Parents also possess this same radar, as Katelyn, 8, can testify: "I was faking sick, and I got grounded for three weeks. I got in trouble with my dad, and that's bad."
Katelyn, your life will be much more peaceful and fun if you do the right thing. Take a tip from Keeleigh, 11: "If you do right all the time, you won't get in trouble, you won't get ( Click for more )
"You are not supposed to live on toys because you cannot take them to heaven," says Adrienne, 8.
Adults try to live on toys, too. The difference is that adults make payments on their toys. Television commercials look so slick, but no manufacturer's toy has ever filled the void in a customer's soul. That vacuum in our souls is reserved for an infinite, loving God.
"You can't take all your stuff to heaven. Your children would have to get it -- plus, they will fight over it," says Jacob, 9.
When it comes to dividing estates of deceased parents among surviving ( Click for more )
"It costs more to revenge injuries than to bear them," wrote Thomas Wilson.
King David is one of the greatest examples of bearing injuries while refusing to take revenge, says Joshua, 11: "When David saw his chance to kill Saul, he didn't. His friends tried to make David kill Saul with his spear."
Put yourself in David's shoes. A madman is hunting you like an animal. Why? He's jealous of you. You're living in caves, dodging spies and wondering if you'll live to see another day. Then, you find yourself with an opportunity to take him out.
Although ( Click for more )
"It is far easier to forgive an enemy after you've got even with him," wrote Olin Miller.
Of Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph McGill wrote: "She got even in a way that was almost cruel. She forgave them."
Thousands of years ago, a man named Solomon expressed similar sentiments. He said that if you want to heap hot coals on the heads of your enemies, be kind to them. He also said, "And the Lord will reward you" (Proverbs 25:21-22).
How would our personal worlds change if we heaped hot coals on our enemies' heads by being kind to them? Jolt your enemy's conscience ( Click for more )
In Proverbs 12:4, the Bible says an excellent wife is like a crown to her husband and a shameful one is compared to rotten bones. What could this possibly mean?
"If a good wife is like a crown, it means that she does not fight and yell all the time," says Morgan, age 8. "But a disgraceful wife is like a disease in his bones means that she is always fighting and yelling."
In Morgan's interpretation, the husband gets crowned sometimes or all the time. Of course, I'm speaking of the kind of crowning that occurs when flying household objects strike the head. This ( Click for more )
"God promised he would never flood the Earth again," says Katie, age 7. "He put a rainbow in the sky. God told Joseph to build an ark. It was hard for Joseph, but he did it."
Katie, you left out the part about Joseph painting the ark many colors. Actually, it was Joseph's coat that was many colors and Noah who built the ark. You might forget who built the ark, but it's easy to remember God's promise when you see a beautiful rainbow.
We live in a time when promises are easily broken. That's why attorneys do so well. A promise is no better than the ( Click for more )
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