“This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
Oh Lord you know I have no friend like you”
from “This World is Not My Home” by Jim Reeves
These lyrics may sound familiar to you. For believers, it is wonderful to know that this world is not our home and that we are just “passin’ through.” The thought provides comfort in good times and in bad. How much are we impressing the transient nature of this world on our children? Do we talk about being “heaven bound’? We need to. There are some great benefits to helping our children identify their eternal home. Here are a few:
- Talking about the new heaven and the new earth with our children using passages of Scripture can help it become more real in their minds. If they can see God’s promises in His word, they will be better able to focus on the finish line rather than just the race.
- Talking about eternity will help our children learn early on that death is not something that believers need to fear. Read the passage about Stephen to your children from Acts 7. Show them the wonderful example of a life (and death) lived with the clear and firm knowledge of an eternal destination.
- While we don’t want to minimize the experiences of our children (particularly our pre-teens and teens), keeping a focus on the fact that this world is a cheap imitation of the one to come can help kids (and adults) fret less about the struggles in this life.
- A heaven bound perspective helps us have compassion. If we know that “our life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow” (see James 4:14) we will have a greater compassion for the lost. If we know where we are going, we will want as many as possible to join us.
- If your child is struggling with a fear, you can say something like, “It won’t always be like this. In heaven, there will be nothing to fear.”
- “Isn’t it great to know that God is preparing a place for you? I can’t wait to see what He has in store!”
- If your child notices a dead or decaying tree, you can say,”In the new earth, nothing will ever die.”
- While visiting the zoo, you can say, “In the new earth, the lion and the lamb will be friends. Won’t that be neat to see?”
- While enjoying nature, say, “What a beautiful earth we live in! But imagine this: the new earth will be even better. God says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”(1 Corinthians 2:9).