How Do Christian Parents Explain Evil in the World to Their Children?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

With so much evil in the world, how can Christian parents and grandparents explain why God allows it and all the suffering that goes with it?

Bad News

With so much evil in the world, how can Christian parents and grandparents explain why God allows it and all the suffering that goes with it? All children need do is watch the evening news and see how many horrible things are happening around the world. They might wonder why God is allowing all this evil since God is good. It’s hard to answer such questions for your children and grandchildren when the world doesn’t make sense, but God is behind all of human history and is working it out for His purpose and our good and their good too, and we need to remind children that God is still on His throne and nothing is catching Him off guard. He is never surprised by anything that happens. He knows the beginning to the end, and He’s got this. What a great time to remember that “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD” (Jer 17:7). We can trust God more than we can trust our own eyes.

Role of the Christian Grandparent

Joseph in Prison

When Joseph was in prison, he had no idea when he was getting out. For all he knew, he was there to stay, but it was said of Joseph, “And the Lord was with Joseph” (Gen 39:21, 23). To us it sure didn’t look like the Lord was with Joseph sitting in prison, but later in the account we see that God had not forgotten Joseph, even though others had (Gen 40:14). Joseph’s brother’s evil act done to Joseph by selling him to slave traders ended up saving countless lives, including those of the nations around Egypt. That included Joseph’s own family who owed him their lives due to their being taken in and taken care of during the seven year drought. Joseph doesn’t hold back the truth and tells us brothers plainly that “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen 50:20).

Evil for Good

Joseph doesn’t deny that what his brothers did was “evil” but neither does he deny it brought much good. Those “many people” that were “kept alive” included Josephs’ brothers and the nations surrounding Egypt, saving them from starvation. God’s hand had woven through time and history so that all the evil done to Joseph would bring about so much good, saving human lives. We can tell children about this example. God is good and brings good from evil. Jesus at Calvary is the best example of that (John 3:16). Now think about this; what if Joseph had never been sent to prison? Many people would have perished from the coming famine, even among Joseph’s own family! Ultimately, we can trust God as He is sovereign, working out all things for our good in His time in our own lives as well as our children and grandchildren’s lives (Rom 8:28).


Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God. He was perfect in every way; without spot or blemish, having never sinned in His entire life. His life and death was the only sacrifice that was acceptable to God and Jesus willingly died for ungodly, wicked enemies of His (Rom 5:6-10), meaning us. Jesus was tried at an illegal trial, unjustly condemned as Pontius Pilate saw no guilt in Him, and yet He died for sinners who actually deserved hell and were absolutely guilty. This great evil done to Jesus brought much good. So much good that we know, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). You hear kids say, “Life’s not fair.” That’s true, but God is fair; even more than fair. He doesn’t give us what we deserve (His wrath); He gives us what we need (His mercy). We don’t really want “fair.” We want mercy. Remind children that God died for their sins and that was not fair to Jesus. He suffered more injustice than any one person ever has in human history, but God used the evil done to Jesus to bring us a way to receive eternal life by trusting in Him. God didn’t give us what we deserved; He gave us what we needed. Tell children that. If God had not allowed such evil upon Jesus, we would all be destined for hell!

Taking up your cross daily

We were redeemd by the precious blood of the Lamb.

Not Our Home

When I see so much evil in this world and when I am going through severe trials, I rest in the fact that we’re all just pilgrims. We are just passing through this world. This is not our home…our home is the Heavenly Kingdom. The Apostle John tells us to not love the world because if you love the world, you cannot love the Lord our God, but who wants to love this world anyway!? I can do without it, save the fact that I have family, friends and acquaintances that are not saved. I am sick and tired of this sick and tired world; a world that’s growing more evil every day, but the only reason Jesus has not returned is so that last soul is saved (Rom 11:25-26). Tell the children about the gospel, but let the Holy Spirit convert them. Then have them pray for their lost friends, classmates and family. God wants to save them out of this evil world too. The more we talk about heaven and how wonderful it will be, the more this present evil world will be seen as passing away. It is only for a time.


I pray you’ve already trusted in Christ and discovered that God wants to save you. If you are brought to repentance and faith in Christ, then you too will be saved. That is God’s will for your life; that you believe and trust in the Savior. Then He desires you tell others about the Lord Jesus Christ. If not you, who (Isaiah 6:8)? Jesus Christ is calling men, women and children for a great commission (Matt 25:35-36; 28:18-20), but if you have still not trusted in Christ, God reject your entering into the Kingdom (Matt 7:21-23). Repent today and trust in Christ or face God’s judgment after death (Heb 9:27) or at the Lord’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), whichever happens to come first. And He could come this very day!

Here is some related reading for you: Can Good Come From Evil? A Biblical Discussion

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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