Shortly after the Paris attacks that killed 130 people a video went viral of a young French boy and his father. While the video is very heart-warming and sweet, the father's answer is not an example of what we should tell our children in the face of fear and tragedy. Here is the video if you haven't seen it.
Christian parents, please use these difficult and troubling events to help your children understand their world in light of Scripture. Help them to see that there is a terrible reason for these events and great hope in spite of them. Tell them God's story.
In an age-appropriate way share with them that this evil and violence was not what God intended for the world or for his people. Let them know that long ago Adam and Eve made a decision not to love and follow God and when they did everything changed. Since their decision, there has been evil in the world and evil in the hearts of people. What happened in France and more recently in California all come from the evil in the hearts of people. Flowers cannot protect or save us from evil. But God knew that.
God knew that we needed more than flowers and more than good effort - He knew we needed someone who could defeat evil and remove the sin and wrong that comes because of it. We needed Jesus. Jesus has come to defeat evil, to change broken hearts return us to life without sin, corruption and evil. Jesus came, that's what Christmas is all about, as a baby. He grew up and lived a life perfect and without sin. When he was older, he died at the hands of soldiers on a cross - an evil death. He died sin's death though he had never done wrong. He did that for all of us who have sinned, including those terrorists. He paid sin's price for us because we cannot. And then on the third day he was raised from the dead, defeating death and sin and Satan! Tell them that Jesus has returned to Heaven where He is with God, but He has promised to return, and He will! And when He does He will judge those who are evil and He will right every wrong. He will restore peace and justice and righteousness just like God wanted in the beginning...before sin and evil. And when He does, all of those who love and follow Him will be together, and there will be no more war, no more death, no more suffering, only peace. Until He returns, He has promised to be with us, to love us, to care for us, to provide for us, to protect us. One day He will come. Until He does, we should trust and follow Him.
Tell them that.
Tell them how He has protected and provided in the past.
Tell them how you trust Him.
Tell them how, even in your fears, you know that He is near.
Teach them to love and follow Jesus.