In the every day busy moments of our life, we can begin to lose our appreciation and wonder of God’s creation. We can grow desensitized to the details of life and the beauty of simple joys. Children are good at reminding us to slow down and enjoy those very moments, but even they need to be reminded sometimes to get out and appreciate nature and God’s creation. How can we, as parents, help our children gain an appreciation for all living things in God’s kingdom? Here are 5 simple, thoughtful ideas.
How can we help our children appreciate God’s creation and all living things in God’s kingdom?
1. Appreciate God’s Creation by Experiencing God’s Creation Together
Last year our family had the joy of watchingRobin eggs hatch! Talk about an amazing experience! Each day we’d wake up, with those tiny blue eggs on our mind. We’d rush outside, climb up on a chair perched against a tree, and check to see if another egg had hatched. It was a beautiful thing to experience together as a family. Watching my children’s excitement brought tears to my eyes. No video game could ever replace watching one of God’s creatures be born!
2. Appreciate God’s Creation by Paying Attention to the Animals in the Christmas Story
As Christmas is fast-approaching, we immediately jump to the birth of Jesus. But what about the special part that animals may have played? Scripture doesn’t say specifically, but in traditional Christmas pageants and nativity scenes we see Mary riding into Bethlehem on a donkey. Can you imagine the mother of Jesus having to walk 80 miles on foot, that far advanced in pregnancy? Oftentimes donkeys get a bad rap, but I’m certain that Mary’s tired, worn feet and contracting belly thanked that donkey greatly for the ride! What about the sheep lowing in the field, and the stable that was probably full of animals? God chose this very place for the Messiah to be born, surrounded by the animals He created!
3. Appreciate God’s Creation by Getting Excited with Them
Most little children, like my own, are fascinated by animals. A couple years ago, our local zoo opened a lion exhibit. There is something so awe-inspiring about God’s creatures, especially the big and mighty ones! God cares for you and me, but He also cares for the animals! After all, He created them! He truly is a God of order and detail. We need to be good stewards of God’s kingdom. I love that together, children and adults alike, we can more fully appreciate our amazing God, the Creator of all things great and small, when we make animals a part of our lives.
I asked my 4-year old why he thought God created animals. Here were some of his answers:
Because He loves them.
Because they are special.
Because they are happy, and nice and have grace.
Because they are soft.
4. Appreciate God’s Creation by Reading about the Animals in Scripture
Whether or not you are an animal lover, it’s important to understand that God cares for all of His creatures. We serve an amazing God and children can witness this through the eyes of how God cares for all of His creatures, even animals. If God can watch over and provide for the lilies of the valley and the birds, we can find comfort in knowing that He can take care of you and me.
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin. – Matthew 6:26-28
Matthew 6:26-28 is a precious verse to read to help children grasp the magnitude of God’s great love for them. Oftentimes I read scripture, and skip over the tiny details – in this case, the animals. Let’s observe some other passages of scripture where animals are mentioned:
- HE SAYS IT IS GOOD THAT HE CREATED THEM: Genesis 1:21 – And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
- GOD PRESERVES THE ANIMALS: Psalms 36:6 – Thy righteousness [is] like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.
- SOME ANIMALS MENTIONED IN GOD’S WORD: • Ant– Proverbs 6:6 • Antelope– Isaiah 51:20 • Ape– 1 Kings 10:22 • Bat– Isaiah 2:20 • Bear– 1 Samuel 17:34-37 • Bee– Judges 14:8 • Camel– Matthew 3:4 • Cobra– Isaiah 11:8 • Cow– Luke 14:5 • Deer– Deuteronomy 14:5 • Dog– Judges 7:5 • Donkey– Isaiah 1:3, John 12:14 • Eagle– Isaiah 40:31 • Fish– Jonah 1:17 • Goat– 1 Samuel 17:34 • Moth– Matthew 6:19 • Ox– Samuel 6:6 • Peacock– 1 Kings 10:22 • Rooster– Matthew 26:34 • Sheep– Matthew 25:22 • Spider– Isaiah 59:5 • Viper– Isaiah 30:6 • Worm– Isaiah 66:24
5. Appreciate God’s Creation by Utilizing Great Resources
I love this new King of Everything Holy Bible my kids received in the mail! I think this just might be one of their favorite Christmas gifts of all! Are your kids fascinated by the many amazing animals God created? This Bible will prompt their little hearts and encourage their sense of wonder. This Bible features a detailed 3D, eye-popping cover and page after page of spectacular photography from National Geographic.
Some amazing, full-color features included in this Bible:
- Bible Time Line
- Bible Verses to Know
- Dictionary of People, Places, and Things
- Special Articles About The Animal World
- Amazing Animal Facts
Plus, this full text of the International Children’s Bible translation is one your children can read and understand! It’s perfect for kids ages 7-11.
How do you help your children appreciate God’s creation? I’d love to hear some of the unique things your family does!