How to talk to your kids about the evil things that happen in this world.
We are seeing evil today that we did not see when our kids were born. We all knew the world wasn’t getting any better, but the level of evil and murder is overwhelmingly disturbing to us… and much more our children. Here are some suggestions from a Christian worldview that might help you and your family navigate these disturbing conversations.
Approach the subject gently.
They are children, so make it age appropriate. I don’t believe in letting my little children (under 12) see the graphic images of death on television, but I do teach them what is happening. Parents you know your children better than anyone else, so use your discretion. Attempt to put it in terms they will understand but don’t share too much details. Think how much watching the news disturbs you, or should, but project that on a little child. Sometimes the news glories in evil. It seems like the more graphic and jaded they can report the better. Somethings your children don’t need to know yet. It may be good for television ratings, but not good for raising children. Pray with them and pray for them. Hug them and show them your love in ways they understand.
Dad and mom, why is there evil and suffering?
Unfortunately, this is a question most adults grapple with daily on worldwide and personal levels. Explain to your kids that this world is broken. This world is not the way God designed it in the beginning. God made everything perfect in the beginning (See Genesis 1-2 in the Bible), but people rebelled against God which brought sin, hatred, murder, death, disease, natural disasters, and evil into this world (See Genesis 3 in the Bible). Now everyone suffers different things in this world because of this rebellion against God’s ways. Some people wear glasses because their eyes are broken and do not work right. Some wear braces on their legs because their legs do not work right. Some are born sick and disabled from birth. Some are born with their minds broken and not able to think properly who become very disturbed people and do very bad things. Sometimes normal people go through such trauma and bad things happen to them that is breaks their minds, and they do bad things because they have been severely broken. And some people are just evil.
Dad and mom, is there such a thing as evil?
Yes, God’s Word the bible teaches that Evil is real and there is such a thing as pure evil. Lucifer was a powerful angel of God who wanted to take over Heaven. God kicked him and his followers out of Heaven. They are now called Satan and his demons/devils. Satan is a powerful real being who hates God, hates God’s creation, and hates people who are made in the image of God. His desire has always been to rule over God and remake everything into his evil distorted hate-filled murderous image. There is such thing as demon control where Satan’s demons controls their life. Only Jesus can free them from this demonic control God loves life and living. Satan loves death and the glory of death. Remember Satan is not equal to God and will be totally destroyed and lose in the end (see Revelation 20-21 in the Bible)
Dad and mom, why does God let bad things happen?
God does not want bad things to happen. He wants us to be His presence of good and shine His light of truth, love, and justice into the darkness of this world. He wants us to stand up for what is right, honorable, and good. He wants us to stand against the evil and injustice of this world. He wants to shine His light through us!
Why did God let this happen to these people? I don’t know. God did not do this. God did not make this happen. Yes, God is bigger than Satan and all evil, and He could have stopped this. But God gives people the freedom to choose and make decisions on their own. Some people choose to radically reject God and his ways and choose to follow Satan and his ways. There is a real battle between Light and darkness, God and evil. When darkness seems to be overtaking a community, it simply means the light is not shining as brightly as it should be there.
Where was God? God was and is there helping the families through this evil act. He was receiving them into His arms. He was in the message of love that was being proclaimed and sung about that day. He was with those who follow Him.
God is on a mission to fix this world. God made this world perfect, Satan came to destroy it, but God sent Jesus to make the broken things right again and to destroy the works of Satan. Jesus came to be our Savior and whoever follows Him will live with Him forever. He is coming back one day to destroy completely Satan, all his workers, and all his works. King Jesus will take all his children back with Him to Heaven to be there forever. We cannot fix this world ourselves, only Jesus can do this. He is God and will make all things new one day. Nothing evil will ever enter Heaven or happen there ever! (See Revelation 21 in the Bible about Heaven)
What to do when?
Questions about what to do if they hear gunfire.
Dad & mom’s, you need to establish a family plan if you hear gunfire. You also need to know your school’s policy and plan if gunfire is heard. There are a number of place where you can look for what to do in when there is an active shooter.
Questions about what to do when something evil happens to someone.
It is ‘OK’ to cry for them. Pray for those families who were directly affected. They need God’s help during this horrible time and the years ahead as they heal through this. Pray for our government leaders so they would have wisdom to do what is right. God’s Word tells us to pray for our leaders that we may live a quite and peaceable life. (See 1 Timothy 2:1-7 in the Bible)
Dad and Moms,
Do not be afraid. Fear will destroy your life. The Bible teaches that fear of people and Satan will destroy your life Trust Jesus, walk through this life with faith in Jesus moment by moment. Faith is the opposite of fear. Believe Jesus will help you through whatever comes your way. Believe that Jesus will help those you pray for. (See Romans 8 in the Bible). As a follower of Jesus, always remember God is with you! God is for you, not against you! Walk in the peace of God. When you are truly walking by faith, God’s peace will fill your life.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 (ESV)
Don’t ever give up! Keep walking by faith, trusting Jesus moment by moment!