catapult magazine

catapult magazine


How Do You Tell Your Kids Who God Is?


May 10 2008
07:55 pm

We’re living with a family with two small children right now. A few months ago, the oldest child, who is 3, started complaining about having to pray. She informed everyone that God doesn’t say anything back to her and she had a suspicion that God didn’t really hear her when she talked to Him. She tried talking much louder, but this kept her younger sister awake at night. I tried telling her that God’s voice isn’t like our voices. It is often very very quiet, like a whisper. "Maybe it’s even like that feeling you have when you’re kind to your sister", I suggested. It was the only way I could think to relate my particular experience of God to something in her own limited experience. Having to answer this 3 year old theological dilemma really forced me to consider what is really happening when I’m praying, as well.

This is just one example of the many issues that have come up in the last year. Other issues that have come up for us include talking about God in language that isn’t always "male" and trying not to offer easy cliches to slough off good questions. For example:

Q."Where is Jesus?"
A. "Up in the sky."

These kinds of answers can get kind of confusing for kids and adults alike.

So I was wondering what theological issues have come up for *cino parents and how have you dealt with them?


May 21 2008
04:46 pm

I’m hardly qualified to contribute here since I have no children, but if I may…

Maybe children are just more honest than us when it comes to the tough questions. It’s not that parents know the answers, it’s that they don’t ask those childish questions anymore. After all, we know that such questions will never have satisfactory answers.


May 26 2008
11:19 am

in this life anyways…


May 27 2008
07:11 pm

This may sound trite, but I learn more about God from my children than they learn about God from me. I think it’s important to frequently be the student when parenting.
When my kids have questioned me, I’ve asked them to pick out their favorite toy and said that God loves everything he has made much more than you love your toy. That’s why it’s important for all of the people God has made to love and take care of everything else God has made (other people and the rest of creation).
As far as not hearing him when they pray, I haven’t come across that yet.


Jun 23 2008
04:53 pm

Recently I got to talk to an 8 year girl who wants to make profession of faith. The topic of devotions came up. She thought of devotions as learning stuff about God, talking about it with her family, and then praying about what she learned. I took the opportunity to say that actually it’s a conversation. God talks to you, and you talk to God. You have a real relationship with all your friends that way, by talking back and forth with them. So it is with God. You hear him speak to you in his Word (when you read it or hear it preached), and you speak back to him in prayer.

I tihnk we have an unimaginative view of God’s Word. It’s not living and active but dead and irrelevant. We don’t think it does anything. It’s a book, an inanimate object! Is it? Why then does God say it will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it (Isa 55)? Why does Paul say that we hear the voice of Jesus when someone is preaching (Rom 10:14, NAS has right translation). In fact Paul says we can’t hear the voice of Jesus without someone preaching. God is pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe: Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom (secret knowledge that comes if close your eyes and listen real hard), but we preach Christ and him crucified…Christ the power and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:21-24). God’s Word has the same active liveliness as it had when God first said, "Let their be light," and there was. Today God turns the world upside down with his Word, the Holy Spirit working with it to produce the desired effect in the hearts and lives of people. We forget that God’s Word is [i:cad881c126]God’s[/i:cad881c126] Word.


Aug 15 2008
12:07 am

I’ve been thinking about norbert’s response quite a bit and I really like it the more I think about it. We should understand ourselves as the learners rather than the "preachers" when it comes to how we relate to our children. Yes God’s Word speaks to us through Scripture. And it strikes to our very hearts in the questioning of a child as well.