What is God? Who is God? How can I know God? What does God do? Do those questions sound familiar? Kids have a lot of questions about God (and quite honestly, grown-ups do too).
Theologians (people who study God and His Word) use the Attributes of God to help us understand more about God. The attributes are a theological category that teaches us about God’s very unique nature, the things that make Him and Him alone God.
Talking to Kids About the Attributes of God
As you begin to teach your kids about the attributes of God, you can describe attributes this way: We all have attributes! They are ways we can describe ourselves. You may be fast, or tall, or short, or a twin. You may be athletic, creative, or kind. But you may be able to describe other people that way too! When we talk about God, He has attributes that belong ONLY to Him. They are the things that make Him God.
God’s Communicable and Incommunicable Attributes
There are actually two types of attributes we talk about when it comes to God: communicable attributes and incommunicable attributes. God’s communicable attributes are the attributes that God has that we can also have as people! Some examples of this: God is kind, loving, and wise. Humans can also be kind, loving, and wise. Ephesians 5:1 tells us to imitate God; His communicable attributes show us how to imitate Him.
In this Minno blog series, we will be taking a look at God’s incommunicable attributes, the ones that are completely unique to God. These are attributes that only describe God, nothing, and no one else. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at six attributes of God and helping you frame these ideas for kids.
Why Learn the Attributes of God?
Why learn the attributes? God is beyond our understanding, and yet through His Word, He has given us the ability to learn about Him and to know Him. Kids are concrete thinkers, and so when we start talking about how God is “all-knowing” and “all-present” they may have trouble grasping those BIG concepts.
And yet, it’s important that kids understand who God is as they build a resilient faith. So we’ll be digging in using kid-friendly language and ideas for teaching your kids about our wonderful, incredible God! The beauty of teaching kids about God and faith is that we can learn right alongside them. So lean in and open your heart to what God wants to teach you about who He is!
Ready? Let’s go!
Attribute: Unity (God is Three-In-One)
Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
Unity is the unique attribute that describes how God is three persons in one God, the co-equal and co-existing Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God’s unity shows us that He is the one and only God. But it also teaches us that the three persons in God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) are one in God. God is three-in-one. God cannot be divided or separated. The members of the Trinity are the same person, and because they are all God, they cannot be divided.
Talk About It:
Confusing? It is, and it is one of the beautiful mysteries of faith. But talking to your kids about the Trinity doesn’t have to be that hard! Why? Because it’s okay if they have questions that you can’t answer because when it comes to the Trinity, we ALL have questions that we can’t answer. It is a doctrine (a belief) that has been debated and codified down through Church history. In fact, many heresies (false teachings) throughout history have been about the Trinity! Why? Because it is so confusing.
One general tip is to avoid using illustrations because usually our human illustrations don’t adequately explain God and could even suggest a heresy. But that makes it even harder for us as parents, because kids really love to learn by illustrations!
So here are a few ideas for introducing your kids to the concept of God’s unity:
Did you know that God gave us His whole Word, the Bible, to teach us about Him? One of the things the Bible teaches us is that God is the one and only God. But even though He is the one and only God, He is three-in-one! The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And it may be confusing or hard for us to understand, but we know it’s true because the Bible tells us it is. Here are some verses that help us see how God is the one true God, and He is three-in-one.
Deuteronomy 6:4 (ESV)
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one”
Matthew 3:16–17 (ESV)
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
John 17:20–23 (ESV)
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one”
1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV)
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Spend some time praising God for His unity, and how He is three-in-one. Ask Him to help you understand the trinity better and to help you grow in faith and trust in Him.
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