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September 12, 2014 / BTM

Theology For Kids: What Does God Look Like?

avatar questionIf you’re tracking with me, you’ll know that I’m spending some time teaching theology to our kids. I posted 12 questions a few weeks ago to help you get started doing this as well. This week I’ll look at answering the question ‘How are we physically different from God?’

Building on my last post that compared toys to humans, you would have already asked your kids to tell you how their toy Playmobil or Polly Pocket figurines are different from a real person. This can warm them up to thinking about how we are different from God.

For instance, if you compare the hands or eyes of your child’s toy to their own hand or eye, you’ll find all kinds of differences. The same would be true for the toy’s brain activity, organ functioning, etc.

Physical appearance is one of the most obvious differences between us and God. God is spirit, so He does not have a body or any physical form. We can’t see Him. But this also enables him to be everywhere at the same time (not in everything like pantheism, but present everywhere). It also means that He existed before time and space even existed (or, that He’s eternal (Ps. 90:2)). Since He created everything that we see, He existed before everything that we see. That’s hard to imagine!

The fact that God is not ‘made of the same stuff’’ as we are means that He doesn’t have the same limitations that we do. He can operate in ways that we can’t imagine:

  • He does not age like we do;
  • He does not grow and change and learn like we do (discuss how different your children are from when they were born, and how different they are from you, from their grandparents);
  • He does not get hungry, tired, bored or anxious;
  • He is not affected by gravity;
  • Etc., etc.

If God is ‘invisible’, so to speak, how can we be sure that He even exists? How can you differentiate God from, say, your child’s invisible friend?

The classic way to illustrate this to a child is to ask her if she can see air. The simple answer to this question is ‘no.’ To the human eye, air is invisible. But, we can feel the effects of air. We can see the wind blowing through the trees. We can feel air when we blow against our hand.

However, this example breaks down with older children because, chemically, we can ‘see’ air. If your child is older and knows this fact, ask him if he can see love or friendship. We can’t ‘see’ these truths, but we know they exist. We can feel them (like air against our hand) and we can see the effects of them in our relationships with others.

The point of all this is, just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. We are confident that love or friendship exist, even though we can’t see these concepts, we can only feel or see the effects of them.

Do you have any other ideas on how to share these concepts with children? Please share them with me!

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