Theology for the Little Ones
Having children has stretched my theology. For some reason, my girls are never satisfied with a simple fact statement about God. They want to know why and how. We pretty frequently have conversations revolving around questions like:
“Where is Heaven?”
“How big is God?”
“How big are God’s hands?”
“Does God have a body?”
“Does Jesus have a body?”
“Where was I before I was born?”
“How do you get to Heaven?”
“Will there be animals in Heaven?”
“Why did God create more boys than girls?”*
Yesterday, Hannah and I were driving home from dropping Nora off at school, and she asked again, “Does God have a body or Jesus have a body?”
I responded that Jesus has a body but God doesn’t.
“God has arms,” she replied. “Why do you say that?” I asked. “He has arms to give people hugs,” she said.
Well said, my sweet girl.
I’m often baffled by my girls’ questions. They make me think. They make me ask myself questions, and I don’t always like my internal response. What do I believe, and why do I believe it? The questions make me think about things that I’ve perhaps purposefully avoided.
The concept of eternity has always been hard for me to grasp. I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around it, and trying to think about it for too long has sent me spiraling before. Yet, it seemed like eternity was all that my girls wanted to talk about during times this year. I would answer their questions and then feel that prick of doubt in my mind. Having to articulate theology to someone who is often hearing things for the first time seems like a heavy weight to me. I don’t want to get it wrong. It makes me question myself. Mommy is so far from having everything figured out.
Then I hear sweetness from the mouths of babes. I hear the simple faith of believing what her little ears have heard. I hear her painting a picture of who she knows the Lord to be.
I am imperfect in my attempts to model a faithful woman to my girls. I wrestle with doubts. I feel myself pulled by the things of the world, and there are so many times when I would rather avoid theological conversations with my girls. Let’s just talk about butterflies and flowers.
Yet, the Lord is at work. By his grace, when my girls talk of the Lord, I can hear that they see Him as a good and loving God who is providing, protecting, and upholding. I pray they will never lose that picture of the Lord. Yes, it needs to grow and expand, but I want the core to remain the same.
I don’t know all the answers. I never will. But the Lord is using my girls to help me grow in my knowledge of Him. I am being stretched. I am being sanctified.
I wouldn’t be surprised if on the way home from school I’m asked another question that makes me think. I’ll try to answer, but I’m also going to try to listen. Today, what I really want the most is that big hug from the arms of God.
*This question had some interesting twists and turns. I was initially just baffled by the question. Where did she come up with that? Then I decided it might have been because they had read genealogies at school. Obviously, more boys are listed than girls. As it turns out, she thought that God might like boys better than girls because he is a male. We obviously could have talked about a LOT of different things. But, I think all she needed to know was that God loves girls just as much as boys.