After Bad Things Happen, How Do You Talk to Children About God?


by John Ellis

If we live long enough and King Jesus doesn’t return, we will all face hard providences. Sadly, even children face hard providences. When that happens, parents are often at a loss as to how to discuss the event with their child, and understandably so. Often, though, that inability stems from an anemic doctrines of God, sin, and/or suffering. Without a robust understanding of who God is, the awfulness of sin, and the overall purpose of suffering, adults are going to miss out on an opportunity to preach the gospel when bad things happen to children.

My wife and I have found ourselves in the position to talk to our daughter about God after a scary event in the middle of the night. Beyond just talking about it, though, my editor thought that it would make a helpful article, too. To read my latest for PJ Media about my family’s scary night and, by God’s grace, how we’re recognizing it as an opportunity to preach the gospel to our kids click the link below.

P.S. Comments usually go in one of my ears and out the other, but the comment from my “buddy”/comment-stalker Sam Weiss makes me angry. By God’s grace, I have resisted the urge to respond.


4 thoughts on “After Bad Things Happen, How Do You Talk to Children About God?

  1. Thank you for this. It served as a reminder to us of God’s goodness and mercy. As we look back to the hurricane that destroyed most of our earthly possessions in 2003 to my heart attack last fall, we can see God’s goodness and mercy to us. While the incidents were not pleasant, we can see God’s goodness to us in the long term benefits we reaped in our relationship with Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written.
    I appreciate the God IS good comment. I feel I’m always thinking & sometimes saying “yes, He’s good & you received what you wanted; but, He’s good because He’s good, not because you got your way.”

    As for Sam, I’m praying God will be gracious concerning his need & be merciful in teaching him wisdom after the need of his heart is met.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Possibly more important than my goal of reading two-hundred books in 2017, however, is my failure to make up ground in the “friendly” competition with my daughter. April was a missed opportunity for me. I’m not proud of this, but I didn’t tell Infinity that I had only read nine books during April when I asked her how many she had read. I did immaturely cackle at her when she told me that she had only read fifteen books last month. She protested, “My ceiling fell in last month!” […]


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