Regular readers know that this is a constant theme of these pages. I’m always trying to grow in my own faith and to discern how to best guide my daughters toward a relationship with God and a deep and abiding faith. Jen at Conversion Diary has a great discussion going on the topic of passing on belief to young children.
One of the things that’s difficult for me as an adult convert to Christianity is that I have no idea what it looks like to talk to children, especially very young children, about belief.
First of all, I have no idea what it’s like to have a “childlike” faith in God. I was an atheist as a child and that worldview seemed pretty obvious to me, so I naturally assume that all children start their lives from a position of nonbelief. Coming to faith was an epic struggle for me that involved reading shelves and shelves of books, so I tend to fall into assuming that that’s what it takes for everyone to have faith. I’ve heard that’s not true—people tell me that kids usually have a natural understanding of God, that belief is the default for most people—but it’s not something I can imagine based on personal experience.
To be honest, I feel awkward when I talk to my toddlers about our beliefs.
Jen asks her readers to share their insights and experiences. Jen has some of the best readers and the most insightful discussions going. I thought some of the answers she got on this thread were especially thoughtful and worth pondering. Check it out.