Kids can ask the strangest things. Why do birds fly instead of walk? Why do trees grow up instead of down? The strangest question I ever got was, “Does the top of my head look like a hamburger?” What?!
Kids can also ask really tough questions about God and faith. Sometimes parents ask me for ideas on how to answer those questions. Here’s one of those questions and the idea I gave that parent, one you might find helpful with your own kids.
Have a Question?
Need help answering one of your kid’s tough questions about God? Or a creative way to explain a faith idea? Send me your question (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll choose one question to answer in the next Q&A post.
Hi Carol. I wanted to pick your brain. You’re good at coming up with great ways to explain difficult concepts to little ones in a way they understand. The last couple of nights our preschool son has asked both my husband and I, “Where is God?” I don’t feel like I was able to give him enough of an answer that he could really wrap his mind around. Any ideas?
I love that your son is so inquisitive, and it’s great that you want to give him a satisfying answer. One of the things I like to do is start by asking the question back. “Where do you think God is?” The answer will give you a peek into what he’s thinking and give you a good point from which to start the conversation. So if he answers, “In my heart,” you could follow up with, “How does someone know they have Jesus in their heart?” and reinforce the idea of having faith. If he answers, “Up in the sky,” you could follow up with, “Is he just in the sky? How about here at home with us?”
Then check out what the Bible says, actually open to Psalm 139:7-10 and read it together.* When you do this, you’re getting your son in the habit of looking to the Bible for answers and modeling that for him.
I can never escape from your [God’s] Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave [deep in the ground] you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell [live] by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
For preschoolers, just emphasize one main point: God is with us wherever we go. Then follow this up with the logical implication that because God is with us we can pray to Him anywhere anytime and He hears us.
For elementary age kids, you might anticipate a second question, “How can God be two different places at the same time? Explain that a body limits someone to being in more than one place at one time. Someone can be at a friend’s house or at a baseball game. Not both. God’s Spirit, though, makes it possible for him to be with you at work and with your child at school.
NOTE: Personally, I’d avoid saying God is everywhere. Theologically and developmentally, that could get tricky. Is God in hell, for instance? Is he under the bed? Instead, focus on what you do know (God is with us wherever I go) rather than on what you don’t.
*NLT and NIrV are easy versions to understand and are free at biblegateway.com.