We are a (fairly new) homeschool family, and as I am preparing and looking at the curriculum for this next year, I have been searching for something that will assist me in teaching my kids some basic doctrines of the Christian faith. My kids are still quite young, with four (almost five) kids under seven, but I don’t think it’s ever too early to start instilling good theology and talking about who God is with our kids. I’ve read through a few resources, and as I was looking through them I was thinking about some of the deep questions that my kids have asked me so far about God, and some of the ones that are still coming. The truth is that having a good review of sound doctrine and theology will also help me as I’m trying to answer these questions. It’s my role and privilege as their mom to be there when they have questions about God and Christianity, and I want to be prepared. One of the questions that recently came to my attention is “how do we know God is who He says He is?” I remember struggling with a similar question myself for a little while as a child, and I have been pondering how I would answer this question for my own kids if they ask it. I think there are a few ways I might attempt to answer this question.
How Do We Know God Is Who He Says He Is?
1. We know because of what we see in nature.
Romans 1:20 (ESV) says: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” God has made who He is clear through creation. Just looking at everything around us we can get an idea of God’s omniscience, omnipotence, sovereignty, goodness, and love. However, it is also true that our world is fallen because of the curse of sin. Nature in itself isn’t sufficient because sin tends to muddy the waters. There is also evil and death in this world, not from God but brought by sin. Which leads to the next point.
2. We know because of what we learn from the Bible.
It is so important for our children to know their Bibles, because all of the answers to the tough questions can be found there, including the answers to who God is and what He has done. We who are Christians have a rich history of God and His work through the lives of all the biblical heroes who came before us. Knowing their stories can be such a faith-builder to our kids.
3. We know because of the work He still does in the hearts and lives of believers today.
I don’t like to place too much emphasis on personal experience as a proof for God, because humans are fallible and experience is subjective. However, when you hear the testimonies of other believers, it is hard not to see the genuine change that occurs when a person truly places their trust in Jesus to save them. The Holy Spirit will work in their lives to bring about good fruit, which is a reflection of God’s faithfulness even in individual lives.
Those are a few of the answers that came to my mind, but the bottom line is that none of these means anything unless we have faith to believe. As Christians we believe we are saved by grace through faith, do we not? The whole foundation of any belief system is faith. Will we choose to believe that God is who He says He is, or not? Will we choose to believe God is all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign, faithful, good, just, and loving? Will we choose to believe what the Bible says about God’s holiness, our sin, Jesus’s sacrifice to pay the price for our sin? Will we choose to believe in what He has done for us and repent and turn to Him? The question above is one of those questions that can only be answered from a position of faith.
We believe that God is who He says He is by grace, through faith. Faith is a gift from God in itself. So yes, the tough questions will come, and I will answer them for my children to the best of my ability. But my ability to answer some of these is itself flawed. When the tough questions come, I think the most important thing is to point our kids back to God’s Word as much as possible, and pray for them that God will give them eyes to see and faith to hold fast to the truth. In the midst of my search for a good theological resource for my kids, I also remembered the I Am Bible Storybook, one of my favorite children’s bibles ever. As I said above, the stories of how God has worked in the lives of biblical heroes can be a great faith-builder, and I want my children to have a good grasp of that history. The I Am Bible Storybook is a wonderful resource for bringing out the different characteristics of God as we see them in different Bible stories – and I am so excited that they just came out with a devotional book to go along with the I Am Bible! I will definitely be checking it out!
Have you wrestled with this question? What truths are you focusing on – for you and your kids?