You Gotta Start Somewhere...
Listen, if you have children the topic of God is going to come up whether you want it to or not (Just ask this atheist parent who had to field the “God question”). For the purposes of this site, we're going to assume that you, the reader, are highly interested in discussing God with your children. But, at the same time, we're not going to assume that you know exactly where to begin. Allow us to assist you.
A great first place to start when speaking with your kids about God is to actually discuss what makes God, God. Why is God, God? What determines His God-ness? What is it about God that makes Him God, as opposed to something or someone else? These are questions that you need to be prepared to answer even if your kids don’t ask them. Why? Because if you can answer what makes God, God, the stage is set to discuss what He is like (His character and attributes: i.e. loving, gracious, merciful) and how He relates to us (relationally, as Creator and as Redeemer).
Let’s keep this (somewhat) brief and (somewhat) simple. Remember, we need to start somewhere. What makes God, God? Below, you will see that we have outlined one of God's character traits, followed by a verse that affirms it, a quick explanation, and then a talking point for you to have with your kids.
The (Not-So) Exhaustive List
- God is self-defining (“I AM who I AM” Exodus 3:14). This means that unlike with most everything else, we don’t define or determine God. He has earned the right to do that. He even gets to name himself (Exodus 3:15).
Ask your children if they gave themselves their name or if their name was chosen for them.
- God is not a created being rather He is Creator (“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28; For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him." Colossians 1:16). This means that unlike everything else, God was not created, and He is THE creator of everything.
Ask your children if they can think of anything else in this world that was or is not created.
- God is infinite (“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:2). God has always existed! And He will never not exist.
Talk with your kids about (fictional) superheroes and how one of the their coolest traits is their immortality (i.e. Superman).
- God is not human (“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” Numbers 23:19). The Bible tells us that Jesus “became flesh” or “took on flesh” (John 1:14) which means in His eternal existence, He is not human.
Talk to your kids about what it means to be human? (i.e. what are the characteristics of humans? 5 senses, flesh, bone, blood, organs, thinking beings, passionate beings, worshipful beings).
- God is immortal (“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.” Romans 6:9). Jesus died willingly, and then He rose from the dead - never to die again. Every single other living being will experience a physical death.
This discussion with your children can get real morbid, real quick so try focusing on how much cooler and better God is because He can’t die.
- God is unchanging (“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8). God is consistently consistent.
Talk to your children about how everything around them seems to change (i.e. they grow up, mom and dad grow old, the seasons change, grass grows, flowers fade, friends come and go - seemingly everything tends to change, except God!).
- God is sinless (“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:21; "For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens." Hebrews 7:26). God doesn’t ever do wrong. In fact, He is incapable of doing wrong.
Ask your children if they know anyone who doesn’t ever do anything wrong.
- God is all-powerful (“Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.” Psalm 62:11). A God who can create something out of nothing and who can bring the dead to life is the very definition of all-powerful.
Ask your children to think of the most powerful person or thing in their lives and then ask them why that person or thing is powerful. Then discuss how there is no power greater than resurrection power.
- God is all-knowing (“Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.” Psalm 147:5). God’s knowledge knows no bounds. It is limitless!
Talk to your children about something new they learned that day. Remind them that they will always be learners. Then discuss how God already knows everything.
- God is everywhere (“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3). There isn’t anywhere in this world God’s presence hasn’t been nor is nor will be at every single moment.
Talk to your kids about what it would be like to be two places at once (i.e. sleeping in bed while at the same time in the kitchen sneaking ice cream).
- God is in charge (“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” Psalm 115:3). Only God possesses all authority (“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:18).
Talk to your kids about the concept of authority. Who is in charge at home? At school? In Government? On the highway?
There you have it. Are you overwhelmed? Our goal was to make talking about God obtainable and doable for you. By no means is the expectation for you to be an expert at all things pertaining to God before you speak with your kids about God. The purpose of this was to have something to get the conversation going with your kids (since many of us just aren't talking at all). My advice is to take one of these eleven topics and have eleven different conversations over the course of a couple weeks. Don’t try to do them all at once.
In the future I will probably revisit each one (along with the many others that I missed) to serve you in an even greater aspect.
Which leads me to a question? What do you think is missing from this list? What makes God, God? What do you have a hard time grasping or communicating?