There are lots of ways different ways for our kids to connect with God and for us to nurture faith in them. One of the easiest ways is through God’s creation! We can help our kids connect with God through nature!
As Psalm 19 begins, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). All around us we see evidence of a creator God! And what an opportunity this gives us parents to nurture an awe of God in our kids!
When we see the sun rising, hear the mighty wind, observe the rolling meadows, swim in the vast ocean, witness the growth of spring flowers, or hear the lilting song of the birds we get to lead our kids in worship!
We get to teach our kids that God is a really big deal! He made everything. He owns everything. And He holds all things together! Sally Lloyd Jones once summed up the definition of glorifying God as “making a big deal about Him,” and creation gives us the perfect opportunity to do that.
From an easy exclamation of the greatness of God to a simple prayer of thanks, we can use creation around us to point our children right back to God.
You don’t need a lesson outline or a strategic plan, your own worship response will be a model for your kids.
I can’t tell you how many times my kids have “caught” my worship responses! For example, I am always amazed by the color, variety, and beauty of the spring flowers and trees. I find my self frequently remarking on the creative artistry of God and now my kids do the same! In fact, just this spring, we all giggled while walking in the yard, noticing the buds on the crab apple tree. My 3 year old daughter exclaimed, “God is sooooooo cweative!”
I never taught my 3 year old to say that. But she learned to respond by giving the glory where it was due — to God! Worship was caught more than taught. Now when she sees the beauty of creation, she naturally connects it with a magnificent creator who really is the best Artist!
Whenever possible, point your kids back to the Word and character of God!
If you’re looking for some intentional ideas of how to help your kids connect with God through nature, here are some to get you started.
Helping our Kids Connect with God through Nature
On a clear night, go outside and lie on a blanket and look at the stars. The more rural you can go, the better because when your surroundings are darker, the stars appear brighter. A quieter setting also adds to the awe and magnificence of a starry night.
As we look at the stars, I love to point out to my kids that God knows every star by name! (Psalm 147:4) If God knows the names of the stars and cares for them, how much more does He know us and care for us!
We also like to talk about how God used stars in the Bible. From making a point to Abraham to using the stars to guide the shepherds to the newborn Jesus, this true history in the Bible seems to come alive even more as you sit under a sky full of stars!
Praise Him, sun and moon, praise Him, all you shining stars. Praise Him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; He gave a decree that will never pass away. (Psalm 148:3-6)
This is what the Lord says, He who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar – the Lord Almighty is His name. (Jeremiah 31:35 )
Storms always bring up conversations about God in our home. Two of my kids respond to storms with fear. One responds with fascination. And the fourth is still to be determined. :)
Every time a storm comes up, we talk about how our creator God is the one who makes the thunder and the lighting and the rain. Simply knowing God is the one who made the storm, and God is the one in control of the storm helps calm my kids’ fears.
In severe storms or when my kids are especially afraid, we remember the time Jesus and His disciples were in a boat on the sea when a storm arose. The disciples were afraid they would die, and Jesus slept on. They finally woke Jesus because they were so afraid, and He demonstrated His power over the wind and the waves and the storm when all He had to say was, “Peace! Be still” and everything became calm!
Listen! Listen to the roar of His voice, to the rumbling that comes from His mouth. He unleashes His lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of His roar; He thunders with His majestic voice. When His voice resounds, He holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding… . The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen. He loads the clouds with moisture; He scatters His lightning through them. At His direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever He commands them. (Job 37:2-5, 10-12)
But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. When He thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses. (Jeremiah 10:12-13)
More Ideas for helping our Kids Connect with God through Nature
- Go for a Hike in a nearby forest preserve, around the lake, up a mountain, or through the backyard.
- Watch the sunset or sunrise :: Make it an event! Bring blankets and pillows and snuggle as you enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.
- Take a nature walk around your neighborhood or backyard.
- Lay in the grass and look at the clouds. We talk about how God created the clouds but also how one day we will see Jesus return in the clouds!
- Set up an easel outside and have the kids paint while enjoying the warm breeze, or have them paint the nature they hear, see, or feel.
- Sing worship songs that praise God for being a Creator and His work in creation.
- Explore new books about a topic that interests your child.
- Gather a collection of nature objects that remind you of God’s character
- Keep an ant farm. Not only can we observe a piece of God’s creation up close, but the book of Proverbs talks about ants and uses them as an example of perseverance and a great work ethic!
- Plant seeds or create your own terrarium — this one is so easy and fun! The Bible talks a lot about soil and growth and fruit. As you grow your own plants, talk about what the Bible says about the soil in our hearts and the fruit of our lives.
Fun toys to help our kids explore nature and connect with God
We keep lots of fun toys on hand for help getting us outside. These are some of our favorites!