Q: What should I say to my five-year-old when he asks why he can't audibly hear God?
Teaching kids to understand and hear God can be a challenge especially when children are concrete thinkers. Here are some ideas to help children understand how God speaks to us.
Through the Bible
Encourage your child to read and listen to Bible stories. More importantly, read the stories to them (make sure you have an age-appropriate Bible) and then ask questions concerning what is happening in the story and what God might be saying to us. The “I wonder” questions are extremely important when it comes to reading God’s Word and helping your child hear it.
Through His Spirit
Sometimes He puts thoughts and ideas in our heads, like people’s names we should pray for, Bible verses, songs and other thoughts. Help your child to focus on these and to share them with you when they happen so that you can help them hear God’s voice in this way.
Through other people, pastors, teachers, leaders and friends
If what people are saying to us is backed up by the Bible, then it could be another way that God is speaking to us.
The stars at night, huge mountain ranges, under the sea, the zoo or even your backyard are all places to be still and know that God is God. More importantly, spending time with your child in nature and helping them identify God’s voice there will create significant memory moments for them.
Through you as a parent
The best way to help your child hear God’s voice is for you to be reading the Bible, listening to the Holy Spirit and letting your child see how God works through you. This is the loudest voice your child will hear and children are more likely to adopt the faith they see in you. Share with your child when you hear and see God and how that impacts you.
Children will learn to hear God’s voice as we journey alongside them and the most important thing for us is to walk with them. As parents, we need to listen as God speaks through our children as well.
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Any advice given is general in nature and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice and must not be relied upon as such. For any healthcare advice, always consult a healthcare practitioner.