As the first in the Houses of Prayer series will be published next week, I thought it appropriate to first explore the fundamental question (asked by my son):  What is God?

It’s a very difficult question to answer.  Really, how do you distill such a complicated topic into a 60-second snippet?  The way I chose to explain “God” to my son reflects my own beliefs, of course, that “God” is everywhere and in everything – very Vedanta.   “God is energy,” I told him, “that is inside everything – all the animals and plants, in our house and inside you.  It makes things move and feel and love.”  And that we have different names for this energy (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Lakshmi…) that we can pray to for strength, but that they are all the same thing. 

Interestingly, in the vast expanse of mythological stories out there for Hindu kids – about Krishna, Rama, Ganesh, etc. – none of these successfully answer the singular question of who God is and how kids are supposed to relate to Him.  Such an elemental aspect of spiritual education – the foundation of forming a relationship with God – yet it is often a neglected question.  So what else can we tell our kids about “God?”  Here are some interesting perspectives:

Curious post from Newsweek: What Do Children Understand About God?
A Jewish perspective: Explaining God to Children with Tangible Stories and Ideas
An Agnostic/Atheistic perspective: Explaining God to Children
An essay from an 8-year-old (very cute):  Explain God
From Muslim Kids Radio:  Who is Allah?

Image of The Helix Nebula by NASA, referred to as The Eye of God


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One Response to “How Do You Explain God to Kids?”

  1. Michael Wallace Says:

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