Kid Question: Where is Jesus?

I had it easy as a kid. I was given my answers to all of life’s big questions and was told, “This is the truth. Accept it or be damned to hell.” So, being afraid of living my life burning (but never able to die) in hell, I accepted the “truths” given to me. So if anyone ever asked if I believed in god or if I was going to heaven, I knew exactly how to answer them. I never questioned that Jesus died “just for me” or that he rose from the dead. Therefore, in Oklahoma, I was considered quite normal.

My children will not have it so easy, and I’m ok with that. I must admit, my kids attend a Methodist day school. We enrolled them there because they went to a summer program once and had a great time. They are getting a wonderful education at this school, the hours are perfect for our work schedules, and, as Christian schools go, the kids are not having god shoved down their throats the way they would at other schools. They learn about science, how to explore their world, and how things work. It’s really a very good school. However, it does present a challenge.

We don’t talk about god or Jesus at home because my husband and I don’t believe in god. But my oldest, who is four, is starting to ask questions about what she learns at school. Her first question: “Where is Jesus, Mom?”

Now, since she attends a Christian school, I must choose my words carefully. Can’t have her running to tell her teacher that mommy says Jesus is worm food. I simply said, “Some people think Jesus is in heaven.” To which she replied, “Jesus is a sweet little baby.” And that was the end of that.

It struck me in that moment just how close we are to the age of curiosity about these kinds of things, and I decided I’d better be prepared. I’m figuring out answers to as many questions as I can so I can give her a good response that encourages thinking and curiosity. I don’t want her believing something just because mommy does. That’s the beauty of my life stance.

How would you answer this question if your child asked it? Or how have you answered it?

3 Thoughts on “Kid Question: Where is Jesus?

  1. I sure wish more people who had a real answer were commenting on this because I find myself in a VERY similar situation. My children also attend a Christian day school because honestly it’s about our only decent option here in the “bible belt” They will only go there until they are 5 so I kind of figure it’s not going to have a huge impact on their future beliefs. I mean they believe in Santa Clause and Tinkerbell right now too and I’m pretty sure they’ll grow out of that. I tend to give way too much information when these things pop up. I want my children to be educated about all religions, I’m not trying to keep them from them. I just let these questions start a conversation about the difference between religion and school and talk about a few different religions. Usually wrapping up with some anciennt greek mythology and how many people have different beliefs but that they should always try to understand and learn about other people and that when they are older they can choose whether or not they want to belong to a religion.

  2. Hi Snarkglop! Sorry I missed your comment. Yikes, it was ages ago!

    I think you’re on the right track with explaining that other people have different beliefs. I always try to ask my daughter what *she* thinks about something, then I try to give her a perspective from a rational point of view. I hope that helps. If you haven’t read Parenting Beyond Belief and Raising Freethinkers, I’d grab a copy of both. They’re fantastic for this sort of thing. There are links to both on the right. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  3. No one has the right to tell my children what to think or what to believe. Not a teacher or a preacher. Unless there is evidence. My children were raised to the ages of five and six saying the blessing, attending church with their grandparents and I, going to the occasional vbs, etc. I was raised a Lutheran. And so they started their lives off “believing” even though they had not been baptized due to my husbands diasapproval of it before they chose to do it themselves. As I went through some of the most personal problems, praying and praying for the pain to go away, for my life to turn around, I realized what I had believed was a farce. Now that my husband and I both now do not believe in any god, we are teaching our children about what religion has done to the human race. When I read this blog, I can only conclude that you don’t hae a problem with the indoctrination of religion on humans. It is like believing in Santa Claus, forming diferent factions due to your regional legends and myths about what he was like, where he came from, what he did when he wasn’t delivering presents, who his wife was, if he had elves or not, where he lived, etc., and believing it is all true due to the book “The Night Before Christmas”. We as parents allow these myths to form truths in the minds of our children. One of the first things my children questioned was why we had lied about Santa and the tooth fairy. Now, they laugh because when I was little, I believed in those two, plus the Easter Bunny, Peter Pan, and four leaf clovers. Not including jesus. Perhaps it is just disgust at apologetics beause they find the good in christianity and turn a blind eye to the negative. I am sure your grandmother is sweet, and the teachers are good at the school where your four year old goes. But they are inherently against other religions which means they are inherently agianst other ethnicities as well, yet the one they call god is a middle eastern born man. They actually pray to the same rock where they say he was born, some jewish, some islamic. Wemcan be good people without god. Your children deserve a fair chance to become who they are without any religion around. I would never intentionaly send mu children to a privately funded christian school. Never. I would not pay into the fairy tale at all.
    I realized this blog entry is almost a year old, and I am sure some other questions will be coming home from the oldest. How long are you willing to allow them to believe in the fairy tale without any backlash in the future?
    Thanks for your time.

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