‘Dad, are there 2 Jesuses?’ (how to teach your child about the Trinity)

‘Dad, are there 2 Jesuses?’ (how to teach your child about the Trinity)The look on my 4-year-old son Williams’s face was one of confusion and bewilderment – and I knew he was preparing to toss me a theological curve ball.

We had been reading a passage out of the New Testament and discussing a simple-yet-profound concept that is taught repeatedly throughout Scripture: God sending His Son to the Earth in the form of a tiny baby.

My blue-eyed, curly-haired son knows the story about Mary, Joseph and the Christ child by heart. He even can tell you all about Easter. But on this night He was getting hung up on the roles of God the Father and God the Son – and the differences.

Finally, William spit it out: “So, Dad, are there two Jesuses?”

For much of his short life, William has been the king of crazy questions. When learned that his yet-to-be-born baby brother would not immediately be able to crawl or walk, he asked: “So, he won’t have legs?” When I told him that Noah was 600 when he built the ark, William asked, innocently, “Is that older than grandpa?”

But as much as I wanted to toss his theological question into the “kids-say-the-darndest-things” category, I couldn’t. That’s because for weeks and weeks, I had been teaching him that Jesus is God, but on this night I was telling him that Jesus was being sent by God. Let’s be honest: Unless you’ve been in church culture your entire life, that concept certainly sounds confusing.

So is Jesus God, or was He sent by God? Or to put it into the 4-year-old vernacular, are there two Jesuses?

The Bible is full of hard-to-understand concepts – for preschoolers and adults. For example, it teaches that Jesus was 100 percent God and 100 percent man. Here’s another one: Jesus, as a child, simultaneously knew nothing and everything. Huh?

You see, parents aren’t all that much different from my 4-year-old son. We, too, are struggling to grasp some of Scripture’s most incredible concepts. We want God to be explained to us, in detail, and preferably in the next five minutes by PowerPoint. But if God could be so easily explained, He wouldn’t be God, would He?

The good news, though, is that Christian parents don’t have to be theologians in order to teach their children about the Trinity – or any other hard-to-understand concepts. All we have to do is teach what the Bible teaches, and go no further.

In fact, as I have learned, children are far more accepting of difficult-to-understand truths than are adults. That night, I told my 4-year-old son the same thing I would tell a 44-year-old co-worker, or any other adult. Here’s what I said: Continue reading

3 great resources to teach your children theology

3 great resources to teach your children theology When it comes to asking tough and sometimes comical theological questions, nothing comes close to an inquisitive child.

I should know. My oldest son, who is 6, currently is the reigning world champion in the “asking tough questions” competition, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Take a recent dinner table discussion, for instance. His cup had pictures of superheroes, and he asked with a serious look on his face: Does God hate the Incredible Hulk? (No, I told him, God loves all people, and besides, the Incredible Hulk isn’t real, anyway, and just because the Incredible Hulk has a mean look on that cup doesn’t mean he’s a bad guy.)

Then there’s the constant question he asks when we discuss heaven: Will his favorite stuffed animal – the one he sleeps with every night — be in heaven? The problem: If I say “no,” heaven isn’t looking so grand to him. He once cried when I told him “no.” (My latest stab at that for him was more of a non-answer. I asked with a smile, “Do you want him to be in heaven?” He said “yes,” and we moved on. I do tell him that I believe dinosaurs will be in heaven – which excites him.)

Children’s storybook Bibles are plentiful, but children’s theology books? Not so much. I have found two that I really like, although I am certain there are others out there. Know of others? Let me know in the comments section.

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‘Dad, what’s the Trinity?’ – 6 resources for kids’ Bible questions

‘Dad, what’s the Trinity?’ – 6 resources for kids’ Bible questionsOne night I was putting my 5 year old to bed when he threw me a curve ball.

“Dad, will my teddy bear be in heaven?”

Without thinking much about his emotions or the way he might react, I quickly told him, “No, he won’t. We don’t get to take any of our stuff to heaven.”

I thought I had handled that one just fine – until my son started crying. I soon realized that to him, heaven wasn’t sounding so great after all. I cleaned up the mess, explaining to him how wonderful heaven was and how everything in heaven was going to be much greater than what we have here.

Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to answer that one.

Other times, though, the answers are much easier. Like the other night, when, for his bedtime, we had a discussion about the deity of Christ and the Trinity. Continue reading