Answering the question .. ‘Why do bad things happen?’

What do Christians tell their children when asked this question? It’s not always an academic question; sometimes the bad things that happen are real but remote. But at other times the bad things affect us personally and the question is then a personal one. We should keep that in mind.

These are just a few thoughts ..

  • God made everything good in Genesis 1-2. It was Adam and Eve’s disobedience that resulted in everything in the world being spoilt. Genesis 3.
  • The spoiling of the world resulted in each of us being born with a ‘want to’ to disobey God. We live in rebellion.
  • The spoiling of the world means that the world doesn’t work as it was designed to work. Much of it does, most of the time, but natural disasters and disease and ultimately death now exist.
  • God sent his only Son, Jesus, to take the punishment that we deserve. Jesus was raised to life. He now reigns from heaven and will come again.
  • When Jesus comes again the world will be brought to an end by God. Every person will be judged. Those who belong to Jesus will be with him forever. For us to belong to Jesus we must put our trust in him as the only one who can save us. (Acts 16:31) There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Everything will be perfect.
  • When bad things happen to us personally we need to choose to trust God. He is still the same and is able to help us and comfort us.

So how can we encourage ourselves and our children…

There are some Bible verses that can really help us .. you could write them out, put them on your fridge, have a go at learning them together, say thankyou to God in prayer for his promises ..

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you

1 Peter 5:7

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth

Psalm 121:1

Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth

Psalm 124:8

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

Proverbs 3:5,6
God’s promise to all people when he set the rainbow in the sky. Paint a rainbow and learn the promise together.
Write out a favourite promise and put it somewhere where you will see it often!

More Nativity to make!

If you have a cardboard box you can make a stable!

As all of the above is home made and fairly cheap to make let your children play with it! If they are young you might want to take away the pipe cleaner first though.

Making a home made Nativity is just another way of celebrating the real Christmas story and keeping Jesus at the centre of the season. As you make it together talk about the story.

What to teach our children about Christmas….

  • It’s a true story
  • It happened a long time ago
  • God had promised to send Jesus as the Saviour
  • Angels aren’t the same as fairies! They are messengers from God
  • Jesus was a real baby
  • Jesus was God the Son

There is always truth for children to learn from the Bible. As you share the story take the time to explain why the first Christmas happened.

You could have a go at learning part of the bible together……

‘you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’ Matthew 1:21

make your own nativity

This is a very easy Christmas craft to make as a family. You could make it all in one go or over a few weeks.

We always get out our Nativity set each Christmas – bought twenty years ago from The Early Learning Centre. It’s a great visual reminder of what Christmas is all about!

make your own Nativity

Mary, Joseph, the angel and the shepherd are made from paper plates. Here’s how…

cut a cheap paper plate in half
fold into three
Glue one of the thirds
fold and stick
you should be left with a triangle that can stand up
for each character add a round face, wool hair, clothes, wings for the angel and a pipe cleaner crook for the shepherd. Use what you have – enjoy colouring and sticking!
the manger is a paper party bag glued at the top with a handle shape cut out. Fill with shredded tissue paper and add Jesus. (This is not my idea – borrowed from pinterest). It is great for this activity because it stands up and you can balance the angel on top!

When you’ve made the characters use them to retell the story from Luke’s gospel.

Bedtime stories

Is there anything more comfy than curling up in bed with a good book? Well, yes, sometimes there probably is! But, a bedtime story as part of a bedtime routine is very special. It’s a pleasant end to the day. It’s non screen time. Books are low tech. They lend themselves to curling up with your child and sharing time with each other.

There are so many great children’s story books to choose from. As children get older stories can become longer – a chapter or two a night. Even when children can comfortably read independently you can still read to them.

There are some really great Children’s Bible story books that can be used at bedtime. You can read a regular storybook first and then the Bible story book and then pray.

Here are a few bible story books to choose from – there are others too – but these are books that I’ve used and enjoyed reading…

Family-time Bible by Kenneth N Taylor
Each story takes up one page plus an illustration and a question to talk about.
The Lion Children’s Bible – Pat Alexander and Carolyn Cox
These stories are longer than those in the Kenneth N Taylor book. The illustrations are lovely.
These three books will take you right through the Bible. They are written to be read aloud and the author gives explanations for why things happened. Few illustrations but great for bedtime reading.

make your own advent calendar

It isn’t quite time for Christmas – but if you want to get a head start on advent this is a ‘make your own advent calendar’. One symbol for each day with a Bible verse to read as a family. It’s simple, easy and do-able.

Print the symbols onto card and cut out. Place each one in an envelope with the number on the outside, add small treats to the envelope too. Put up some string or ribbon and use pegs or paper clips to attach the symbol each day during advent. You can leave the symbols black and white or colour them each day. There are Christmas themed Bible verses to read that begin with Old Testament prophecies and go through the Christmas story. It’s only the reference that is written on the calendar – I think it’s great when we open the Bible up to read.

When our children were small we’d have eaten the chocolate treat either at breakfast or straight after school and read the Bible verses at bedtime. But if you can fit in the Bible verses at breakfast that’s great.

Free printables –

advent tree

house building!

Who do we want to build our home?

If we are Christians we want the LORD to be the builder of our house – our family. But how does this happen in everyday life? How does it fit in with making packed lunches, getting to swimming lessons, chicken pox, tantrums and homework? This blog is to encourage us to have Jesus at the centre of family life in the everyday. To build our homes and our families in such a way that our efforts are not in vain.

Something to read and think together as a family at a time that suits you..

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
    for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court.