Nurturing Growth in Faith

I understood at a very young age that God could not be seen with our eyes. Sometime between the ages of 4 and 7, my Sunday School teacher asked the class to draw a picture of God. I was a compliant child and drew the picture, but I remember thinking, “no one can see God.”

Later, as an elementary education major, I learned that children under the age of 11 are concrete thinkers. In other words, they think literally about the physical world. Preschoolers interpret the world around them by using their senses, not with abstract ideas. They don’t draw conclusions about what they experience. In my involvement with children this has mostly proven to be true. But how does this idea of concrete thinking fit with a child’s ability to recognize God for who He is?

Certainly, children who have been raised in a Christian home know about God, but I’ve known children without that privilege who still acknowledge God and have a positive view of Him. I believe God instills grace in children to believe in a God they cannot see.

As preschool teachers we are thankful to God for giving children that seed of grace to accept that God exists even though He cannot be seen. We can nurture that seed. Stories from the Bible are a wonderful way to communicate concretely with children. One of the first concepts that preschoolers learn about God is: Jesus is God’s Son. The Christmas story is perhaps the best way to convey this concept. Children combine their concrete knowledge of babies and families with their innate knowledge of God to develop this concept. Preschoolers can identify with stories about children. The story of twelve-year old Jesus at the temple furthers the idea that God is Jesus’ heavenly father while Joseph is his earthly father.

The story of Jesus’ baptism can also help preschoolers make the connection that Jesus is God’s son. “A voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, and I love him. I am very pleased with him.” (Matthew 3:17).

With intentionality, teachers and parents can lead preschoolers to a deeper understanding of who God is as they partner with the Holy Spirit. As we lead, we discover that we, too, are continuing to discover more of who God is!


Prayer:

Lord, help me to appreciate the opportunity to lead preschoolers to a better understanding of who you are. May they see continue to grow in your love for them


Scripture taken from New International Readers Version

Back to Top