Today’s post is short and kind of funny, but this experience also shows how literally kids take what we tell them. We’ve been talking about sharing the gospel with kids in a kid-appropriate way. Sometimes that can be hard! We need to be aware of their literalness and make sure they understand what we are teaching.
This is something that happened to me last year as I took on the challenge of explaining Scripture to a first grader who had little Bible knowledge.
I smile when I think about it, but at the same time this is a good example of how challenging it sometimes is to make sure kids understand.
I was teaching a first grader James 2:10: For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.
This was a child who had no Bible background, but she seemed eager to learn. So starting from the beginning – this is how our conversation went.
First grader: What? I don’t get it. We just do ONE thing wrong and that’s all it takes?
Me: Yes. God says …
First grader: Well, I’ve never done anything wrong. I’m a good kid.
Me: What about when your mom bakes cookies and leaves them on the counter. Then the neighbor stops by, so she goes out to the yard to chat with her. You think, “I’m hungry and Mom will never, ever know if I take a cookie.”
(First grader listens intently.)
Me (continuing): So you take a cookie and it is so good. And Mom never notices. Are you disobeying God?
First grader (truly puzzled): My mom never bakes cookies. (She wasn’t being sassy – it was like she didn’t understand some people bake cookies at home and because of that, didn’t comprehend the illustration.)
Me: (trying again): Okay, what do you eat for snack.
First grader: Muffins.
Me: Okay, let’s say there are muffins on the kitchen counter …. etc., etc., (I go through the entire explanation again. Again, the intense look on her face as she tries to understand.) So, your mom is outside and you take a muffin hoping she won’t notice.
First grader: But she would notice – there are only four muffins to a package! She would know if one was missing!
Sometimes it takes a lot of patience to teach a child.