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"Children are the most instinctively spiritual beings," says Stephanie Adams-Nicolai, Founder and CEO of Goddessy. "They are indeed the wisest, most loving souls that are closer to knowing and understanding God than we will ever probably know."
"My son is only 4 years old but has seen our family go through more than most people who live to be 100," she continues. "When I ask him what faith means to him, after all I have taught him thus far, he says faith to him means 'I love God' and 'It's a brand new day.'"
What is faith? Well, it depends on who you ask. Merriam-Webster dictionary describes faith as a strong belief or trust in someone or something, while the Bible says "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Buddhists believe faith leads to enlightenment and Nirvana, while the Baha’i Faith incorporates the practice of good deeds into their meaning.
We asked kids what faith means to them and, much like Stephanie's son, their honest and insightful answers will surprise and enlighten you.
Kids describe what faith means to them
- "Faith is hoping and waiting and believing with all your might. And even though you’re constantly disappointed, you know that somehow, one day, it’ll all turn out okay." Leah, age 10; daughter of Darah Zeledon
- "Following your own path. If you never have faith you will always follow someone else's path." Trinity, age 9; daughter of Tara L. Paige
- "Believing in yourself to do what everyone else can't. Even when people talk about you, you give yourself good words. I have faith in my beauty, my heart, my mind and when I talk." Tatum, age 7; daughter of Tara L. Paige
- "Faith is courage." Ty, age 9, son of Tara L. Paige
- "Well, my faith means that is a higher being that is helpful and saves everybody and is nice to everybody." Luke Mosley, age 11, fifth grader at Holy Cross Regional Catholic School in Lynchburg, Virginia
- "Faith means trusting in something you can't see." Justus, age 13; son of Dana Vaudrin
- "Loving someone you can't see by trusting in Him and praying." Lexi, age 7; daughter of Dana Vaudrin
- "I asked my 7-year-old son this morning why it is important to have faith, and he said, 'So I can talk to God and God can help me," says Marilena DeSantis of Spiritmamma.com. "I asked him if he talks to God. He said, 'Yes, last night God told me what I needed to do better next time and I listened... I felt better.'"
- "You have the power of love, Mom," 8-year-old Sullivan told his mom Jennifer James McCollum. "When people want to hurt you, they have the power of evil inside them. Faith is like termites. When attacked by a predator they live and die for each other. That's what humans do when they have faith. They fight for each other."
"My sons, Aaron and Adam, have said many things about faith over the years. However, while they were 5 and 6 years old, their explanations about God-life-faith have stuck with me," says Daria Brezinski, sharing these three favorite quotes on faith:
- "Life is like a pencil. You sharpen it, you use it, it gets dull. You sharpen it, use it, it gets dull. You sharpen it, use it, it gets dull. Then one day, poof, it's gone. So in life, we are supposed to keep learning and then one day, we're gone."
"While driving up a mountain one day, my son urged me to stop the car because he obviously had some sort of revelation."
- "If you stand with your nose touching the tree, you can only see the bark. If you start to stand back you can start to see more of the tree. The farther back you stand, you not only can see the tree but everything else around it. If you go really far back to the street, you can see so much more. So in life, the farther back we go, the more we see the whole picture. So God must see so much more than we do."
"We were at the beach one day, and my son said [the following]:"
- "If I am a raindrop, falling into the ocean, I become the same as the rest of the ocean. You could never find me, the one person, because it all melts with the rest of the ocean. So it's like people. We are all people in one ocean. We think we are individuals but really we are all one in the ocean. So the ocean must be what God is because we are all in it."
Even the smallest children share their idea of faith, as mom Leah Heffner explains.
- "My daughter is almost 3 and loves to be a princess. When she twirls in her dress and asks if she's beautiful I always answer yes. She loves to tell me now that she is beautiful because her heart is beautiful and that God and Jesus made her heart," she says.
- "My son is 1 and when we say Jesus he knows to fold his hands and then say amen."