Explaining “Covenant” to a Child

Last night, my son who is seven, got a lesson about what “covenant” means. We were talking about how everyone is a child of G-d, but not everyone is in covenant with G-d.

“Do you know what a covenant is?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.

“Do you know what an agreement is?” I asked.

“Not really,” he said.

“Okay, say you and I make an agreement.

“I will be your mommy. I will love you and take care of you and make sure you have all of your needs met, that you are clothed and fed and have shelter. And all you have to do is agree to do everything I ask you to do. You have to agree that you will be obedient. But if you decide to be consistently disobedient and you won’t listen to me, eventually, one day, you may find that I will kick you out of the house. Because we had an agreement.

“Some people haven’t made that agreement with G-d, but some people have. And yet, they don’t do all that G-d has told them to do. They pick which rules in G-d’s house they want to keep. But G-d is so patient and so kind that He allows them to live in His house, hoping that eventually they will be wooed by his generosity and love and come to understand that they have a responsibility to hold up their side of the agreement out of all that He has done for them.

“Then there are those who try their very best to do everything that G-d has asked them to do. They are obedient children, and G-d gives them even more patience than anyone else, because He sees that they truly want to please Him and that they do everything out of love for Him. They see how kind and loving He is and want, in some small way, to repay Him for all the things He’s done for them.”

I could see the wheels turning in his head. He is so spiritual for a child of seven, and he “got it.” Oh, that we could all be as pure in heart and innocent as a little child, easily understanding the protocol of the Kingdom of Heaven. Hashem is our faithful, loving Father, perfect in justice and righteousness, He does everything for our benefit, providing for all of our needs, and only asks that we obey Him with complete devotion.

It is truly amazing just how patient and compassionate He is toward us. Would that I were more like Him with my own children, but it is a lifelong goal of mine!