“I Don’t Believe in God”

bekah Parenting Leave a Comment

Conversations with our sons have been getting pretty interesting over here, too good not to share.  Crawling into the minds of 3 and 5 year old boys is scary enough, but I invite you to journey with me, to pull up a chair and join our family, maybe offer some perspective, some Kleenex, some shared giggles, as we fumble to make sense of their honest questions.

Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

Every week Tanner brings home a clear Ziplock bag, and inside the alphabet is written on a small piece of paper with the letter of the week circled, instructions to find five items that start with that specific letter and then placed in the bag for show-and-tell. It was F week. Outside we were picking flowers- geraniums, roses, white bell-shaped petals from a trumpet vine. We noticed how unique each flower was, how creative God is to think of all the colors and scents and…

I don’t believe in God, mom.

Ohhhh kay.

I physically pulled in my stomach then slowly let it out.

How come, bud?

Because I can’t see Him.

That makes absolute sense, I nodded. And if you can’t see Him, it’s hard to believe he’s real, right?

Curly-haired T nods up and down.

I cupped my mouth in my hands and thought, then quit that and just prayed. Isn’t this one of the age-old questions we all ask? How can I believe in a God I can’t see?

One thing I appreciated about my parents is that they always shot straight. Whether it was about sex or guys or friends or faith, they didn’t take short-cuts. Truth is always the best policy, even if it’s uncomfortable, even if we don’t have the answers.

I told him I related. More than ever did I relate. Since Papa had gone to heaven, I so badly wanted to see God, to sit down and have pizza with Him and ask him face-to-face questions.

There’s days I get super frustrated that I can’t see God, I admitted. But it’s like love. You know daddy and I love you and Ty Ty. We are crazy about you silly munchers, right?

Right. He was tracking.

In fact, let’s go look for love right now. I grabbed his hand and the search for love began. We looked under the kitchen table, around couch cushions, inside toy bins. We leafed through book pages for love and came close when we eyed family pictures. But the spotlight didn’t shine down on physical love.

Because we can’t see it, I explained. We feel it. In here, I pointed to his heart. To his mind. How do you know we love you?, I asked.

‘Cuz I do. Such long explanations, these kids offer.

How? I pressed.

Because you take care of us, and wrestle, and play, and bake cookies with us.

I smiled. If that’s what love is, that’s fine by me.

Yes! I grinned, and the same goes for God. We can’t see Him, but {and this is where explaining the trinity to a five year-old got very cliff-noted} He sent His buddy, the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. When we believe in God, the Holy Spirit tugs on our hearts and offers us direction, like when to make obedient decisions or love on someone that’s being crinkly.

You know when you hit your brother and you have that feeling that it probably wasn’t the best idea? He lowers his eyes and suddenly seems super into his shoes. That feeling inside is the Holy Spirit nudging you towards God, towards forgiveness, towards a need for someone bigger than ourselves. Does that make sense? I knew it would take repetition, giving example after example for this to stick, but it was a start.

Since you know love exists, even if you can’t see it, it’s the same for God. You can either choose to believe in a God you can’t see, listening to the Holy Spirit in your gut, or choose not to believe. Only time will tell.

I adore that Tanner was brave enough to voice his doubt of God. Yes, please doubt. Please ask. Please wonder aloud. Please know this is a house that’s safe to do that in. We can untangle the messiness of life and look at it from different angles and compare it to what God has to say.

I know there will be millions of questions to come, but this was the first.


“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
C.S. Lewis





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