Whitefield Academy Blog

How to Explain “Bad Things” To Your Children

by | Nov 8, 2017 | Parenting | 0 comments

We recently suffered a loss in our extended family. When we found out about this kind man’s passing, we were very worried about telling our three year old daughter. We were worried not because we thought she couldn’t understand but because she had been praying fervently at every meal and bedtime for weeks that he would be healed.

How do you explain to your children, let alone yourself, why God sometimes doesn’t answer our prayers? My husband attempted to explain this very big idea to our girls in a very manageable way:

Bad Things Happen

My husband reminded our daughters that ever since Adam and Eve sinned, there has been evil in the world. We live in a fallen world, and because of this, bad things happen. Bad things like death and hurt and pain.

We Have a Big, Good God

We have a God who is Good and who is stronger than any of the evil in the world. And when Christ came, he conquered that evil. We are living in the already and the not yet. We already have Christ’s salvation, but we don’t yet have the ultimately perfect world that God will give us, so earthly pain and sadness remain.

A Good Plan

God tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 that He knows the plans He has for us. And we know from Romans 8:28 that those plans are working together toward a good end for those who love the Lord. Sometimes God’s plan is different than what we ask to have happen, but we have to trust that His plan is better than ours because it will ultimately be for our good.

Our Part in That Plan

While we are here on earth, Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we are called to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, [and] give thanks in all circumstances…” We should be always rejoicing, always praying, and always giving thanks even when we don’t understand why something is happening or when our prayers are not answered in the way we want them to be. This is our part of the Good Plan.

Thankfully, it seems to be much easier for children than for adults to trust that God is a powerful and perfect God who holds everything in His hands. I know this is only the beginning of our daughters’ experiences with pain in this world. Our prayer for them is that they would always trust in God’s perfect plan for their lives.


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