3 Ways to Teach Kids to Trust God Instead of Worry

Oct 15, 2018 (Monday)

There was once a kid who was used to do martial arts. At the age of seven he entered a tournament, he had been feeling confident in his ability since he had been training for a few years. After he won several of his sparring matches but eventually lost, and he took that defeat really hard.

He ended up quitting Tae-Kwon-Do all together and avoided anything that required some sort of public performance, such as sports and music. School sports like basketball or football were things he would have been good at, but he never tried. When he had to take a music class for school he would never invite anyone he knew to the recitals.

As an adult, I asked him what it was about that experience that cut him so deeply. He told me it was the shame he had felt after losing. He felt that he had embarrassed his family. As an adult, he could articulate that fear, but as a child, it was just something that he felt and he never wanted to feel that ever again. That fear, that worry, that concern, rational or not caused his man to live a large part of his life in fear. That fear robbed him time and experiences he won’t get back.

The VCF Kids ministry has started a four-week teaching series on fear. Teaching children to confront fear with the truths of God so that they can live lives free from fear impacting their actions, thoughts, and choices.

The big idea from this last weekend is:

I can give my worries to God because He cares.

I feel that the story above could have gone a different way if that guy would have felt like he could talk to someone. To help him process what he was feeling and walk him through a way of dealing with is worry instead of putting up barriers in his life. So let’s teach kids where they can go with their worries, and that would be our Heavenly Father.

If you are looking for a few ways to do that, here are a few things you can do:

  1. Listen – It’s easy to dismiss the fears and concerns of a kid because as an adult we have the ability to see bigger pictures. If a child is scared of a monster under the bed, you could just say, “No you’re being silly.” Unfortunately, every time we dismiss a child’s thoughts, regardless if they are ration or irrational, we risk subtly teaching them that we don’t care about their thoughts, thus not caring about them.From God’s vantage point any concern that we have isn’t a big deal, for He sees the whole picture. Yet 1 Peter 5:7 teaches that we can come to Him with all of our anxieties. So let’s model God’s love and listen.
  2. Use the Prayer Bucket – This past weekend, the take-home craft was a “Prayer Bucket.” This is a tool that allows children to write down the things they are concerned about giving it to God by placing it in the bucket.By using this with your kids, it gives you the opportunity to recognize a concern and help your kid process what it is.If you don’t have a prayer bucket, it’s as easy as using a mason jar and some sticky notes. Whatever the vessel, the principle remains the same.
  3. Model Prayer – Once a fear or worry is processed, we learn what is really bugging us. That is an opportunity to lift it up in prayer. Even as adults we don’t always know why something is concerning us until we process. If you have an appropriate concern, share with your kid what it is and lift it up in prayer together.By sharing a concern that you may have, you are demonstrating what your kid could do when it’s their turn. For if we don’t model it for them, they won’t know what to do, and probably develop destructive coping mechanisms.