My kids are obsessed with Heaven. And not just Heaven. They talk about Jesus’ second coming all the time, too. I don’t even know how it started. I mean, I’ve never done any eschatological teaching with them!
(I just wanted to show you I knew the word eschatological. Aren’t you impressed?)
Lydia and Asa say things like, “Is Jesus going to come back today?” or “We’ll go to Disney World next year. Unless Jesus comes back!”. Lydia even told me she always pictures Jesus coming back with a big net and scoop us all up to Heaven. (I guess that’s her interpretation of “caught up in the air”? Ha!)
They love talking about Heaven–about who is there, how to get there (Asa: Can we fly a plane?), what it looks like, when do we get to go, etc. etc. They are honest-to-goodness excited about Heaven.
I guess I’ve shied away from Heaven and end-times-ish type discussions with them because I remember as a kid, it sometimes made me nervous. That thought of ETERNITY just about kills my poor little mind. I didn’t want to introduce those nervous thoughts kids can get too early. But apparently, I underestimated the child-like faith my kids have.
When they hear that there are no tears, no sadness and lots of time to be with Jesus, they immediately like the place and want to be there! They aren’t frightened by death and I think at this point it’s because the awesomeness of Heaven overshadows what they know of death.
I’ve decided to let these conversations come as often as possible and let the kids take them as far as they want. I want them to look forward to Heaven because I want the first thought in their mind to always be that they want to be with Jesus, you know?
I’ve been trying to round up some resources for talking about Heaven with the kids. Here’s a few I’ve found and read…
God Gave Us Heaven by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Lisa is one of my favorite authors (have you read her *blush* Young Adult novels?!). This book is part of a series you’ve probably seen before (God Gave us You, God Gave Us Two, etc.). It follows a little Polar Bear cub asking questions to her parents about God and heaven.
There is some great teaching and descriptions in it and although it is very didactic, the kids enjoyed it. We even had a conversation later about Heaven and referred back to the book to explain it. (Asa asked me, “Mommy, will the Queen go to the same Heaven we’ll go to?” This was after watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics!)
Someday Heaven by Larry Libby
OK. Actually, I just grabbed this book off our bookshelf and realized we have never read it! Each page is a new question about Heaven (Where is Heaven? How do I get to Heaven?) with some good answers–mostly in a non-fiction format, but some include a little story to give further detail.
I’m going to try it out on my kids today! I’ll let you know what they think!
Heaven for Kids by Randy Alcorn
I got this book free on Kindle a few months ago and I skimmed through the whole thing right away. It’s aimed for older kids because it’s kind of set up like an encyclopedia. Well, that’s what it reminds me of, anyway–it’s full of every question (and answer) you can imagine about heaven. It’s a great resource for when your kids ask those specific questions you have NO IDEA what the answer is!
I totally admire Randy Alcorn‘s perspective on heaven (even his novels give good teaching on the afterlife!) so I highly recommend anything by him. (I still want this picture book, Tell Me About Heaven by him, too.)
Also, all our Bible storybooks usually have the story of Jesus returning to Heaven after the resurrection and this always leads into a discussion of Heaven for us.
Oh, and I gave my friend Mandi (who’s brother-in-law died) What is Heaven Like? by Beverly Lewis for her kids. And for the life of me, I can’t remember much about it but she said they really like it (and I must have liked it if I gave it to her, right?!).
What do your kids think about Heaven? Have any good resources to share?
photo source: bossco