Parents who accept the biblical mandate to be the primary faith trainers in the lives of their children often face a common obstacle. How do we impress the glory and complexity of such a great God on the hearts of our children? Can they even understand His glory? The short answer is yes, in a child like way.
General revelation: The skies declare your glory (Psalm 19:1).
Theologically, God’s glory among the generations is His first priority. Though we will not yet grasp in fullness the depth, breadth, or width of God’s glory this side of heaven, we can all observe that He is glorious. This is also true of our children. Psalm 19:1 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” The concept of understanding the glory of God by observing His magnificent creation is called general revelation. Recently my family took a Sunday evening walk from our house to a local coffee shop. Along the way we stopped to take note of an extravagant sunset displayed with shades of orange, pink, purple, and yellow. Eden, our 5 year old, said, “Isn’t God a great artist.” In that single moment she acknowledged God’s general revelation of His glory. She understood His greatness because of the “great art” He made for us to enjoy that evening.
Special revelation: Let the little children come to me (Matthew 19:14).
Jesus is God’s special revelation of Himself to the world. Jesus, being fully God and fully man, is incomprehensible on the one hand but understandable on the other. We glimpse God’s glory when we discover Jesus as a sinless man bringing complete glory to his Father. We see God’s glory when we learn Jesus is a miraculous healer demonstrating power over the flesh. We are drawn to God’s glory when we find Jesus is able to calm storms demonstrating control of the creation. We are submissive to God’s glory when we realize Jesus is able to cast out demons demonstrating Kingship in the spiritual realm. Finally, we are baffled at God’s glory when we learn of the crucifixion of the God-man wrought with earthquakes, darkness, a torn curtain, and amazing words of forgiveness. We worship our glorious God when we read that Jesus rose again, defeating death, fulfilling prophecy, and exercising complete victory over sin. Even as I write, I am worshipping. Our kids experience God’s glory by knowing Jesus as well. Jesus says in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” If you want your child to comprehend God’s glory, bring them to Jesus.
What can You Do: God-moments and Scripture reading
As a parent, be intentional about pointing out the glory of God with your children. Capture God-moments. They are those little moments along the way where God is clearly at work. Take a moment to point His glory out to your child just like the sunset we saw on our Sunday evening walk. God-moments happen all the time; A sunset, a torrential downpour, a baptism, communion, etc. Keep your eyes open and you will find God at work. As a parent, take the opportunity to reveal His glory to your child. Finally, read the Bible to your children. We love to read about Jesus from the Bible with our kids. Without sounding irreverent, Jesus is a kid-magnet. Jesus will reveal the glory of the Father to our children. Read them the biblical narrative. Let them hear how Jesus fed 5000, healed the blind, and conquered sin. Our children can discern the greatness of God especially when parents take time to demonstrate the glory of God.