Talking to Your Children About Death

Recently my grandfather passed away and as a family we grieved over him leaving but also were able to talk about the joy of heaven and seeing him again.

I am reminded what Jesus said to Martha after her brother (and Jesus’ friend) Lazarus died. He said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25–26)

Death is hard to go through and deal with but there is an opportunity to talk with our children about Jesus, the One who conquered death and promises us eternal life. Here are some points parents can talk about with their children concerning death.

1) Death allows us as parents to talk about the Fall and sin.

God intended, when He made the world, for Adam and Eve to live with Him forever. But, because of sin, death resulted. The first part of Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death.” Because of sin (rebellion from God), there is a physical death and a spiritual death.

This is hard and sobering, to know that we all sin and one day we will die too. But, I am so thankful the Bible does not end with that news. We have the greatest news ever!

2) Death allows us to talk about Jesus, the One who conquered sin and death.

The greatest news ever is that death is not the end. Jesus came to conquer sin and death!

The Bible tells us that He died to take the sin of the world. Yes, the first part of Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death” but it doesn’t stop there. It continues to say, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This gives us an opportunity to talk about the gospel, our need for Jesus, and how we must follow Him. Jesus died so we can live. Jesus died to take our sin and free us from death. Yes, there is a physical death still but that is not the end. The good news is we have eternal life in Jesus Christ.

3) Death allows us to talk about heaven.

Heaven is a real place that Jesus has gone to prepare for us (John 14:2). The Bible tells us that heaven is a place where there is no more pain, no more tears of sorrow, or death (Revelation 21:4).

The Bible also tells us that we will receive a new body (Philippians 3:20–21 and 1 Corinthians 15:50–57). We shared with our children that great grandpa was dealing with health problems and was sick, but God gave him a new body that will never get sick.

The Bible also shares that we will be reunited with other believers (1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Revelation 21:1–22:6). With our children, we were able to share that if we put our faith in Jesus Christ, we too can go to heaven where grandpa is and see him again.

Death is hard but we have hope because of Jesus Christ. What a great time to point to Jesus and be reminded of what He did for us through His death and resurrection.