Sunday, August 20, 2017

Is Theology for Kids? Andy's Story

I wrote this weeks ago.  I had no idea then that the atmosphere in America would take such an ugly shift.  I considered letting this post wait a week or two for things to settle down but I couldn't. Consider this my quiet statement in the storm of shouts: "We are ALL made in the image of God Almighty." 

Is theology for kids?  Isn't it a dusty subject more suitable for seminaries and Bible colleges?  It's not for Sunday School or my kid at bedtime, or is it?  As an answer I'd like to tell you a story about Andy. 

This is Andy.

Andy is my daughter's little frog-he is also the source of a great lesson in the worth of human beings.  FREE theology curriculum for kids 

He has been a member of our family for 14 years.  There was a lot of discussion in the early years as to whether he was a frog or a turtle, but of Andy’s value there was never any question. From the time that my oldest daughter was two, he has been her constant companion; he has lived on two continents and moved from city to city with us; he visited grandparents and camp; he has starred in many a story set in his hometown of Frogville.  And recently Andy was the inspiration for a deep lesson in theology. 

My fourth grader and I haven’t started really studying theology yet.  We have covered a few basics as we absorbed Bible stories at home and in Sunday School but we have not systematically studied God--who He is, what He does and why. In the summer we always do daily devotionals and as we finished the series in Colossians, I started thinking she could handle something more challenging. So we have been reading through Joel.  

There is some tough stuff in Joel and I’m not talking about the locust and the Assyrians!   We ran headlong across these difficult words: “They have also cast lots for my people/Traded a boy for a harlot/And sold a girl for wine that they may drink” (Joel 3:3).  I didn’t feel any powerful need to discuss the harlot part 😳 but we did talk about gambling over the life of a little boy or trading a little girl for a glass of wine.  

#TheologyIsForKids Free Theology Curriculum for Sunday School or Homeschool Tweens | Faith | Bible | Theology
So I asked my little girl, “What is a person worth? More than just a game of dice or a glass of wine right?” She nodded her head. “What makes a person worth so much?”

She looked thoughtful and replied, “They are made in God’s image.” 

Inside I was doing my parental happy dance! Victory!

This theological concept, that we are made one and all, in the image of God is foundational to all understanding of ethics.  When we as Christians discuss abortion, euthanasia, racism, genocide, rape, and a thousand other tragedies, we are actually talking about our worth individually and as a group and that this worth is rooted in the fact that we are made in the image of God.  

Yet I thought there was more here she could understand, if only I could find a way to make it plain.

“Hey, is Andy valuable?”  I asked. When she nodded, I asked,  “Why?”

Back to that thoughtful look.  Hesitantly she replied, “Because Sissie loves him.”

She’s right.  To her sister, Andy is beyond value.  He is hers.

Listen to this.

“By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:9-10).

There are a lot of hard words for a 4th grader in those verses.  But the concept is not hard at all. 

We see each other and even ourselves, sometimes as useless—worn out—destined to be thrown away. As if we were threadbare little frogs that wouldn’t go for 50 cents at a yard sale. 

Yet my daughter wouldn’t take a million dollars for Andy.  She loves him. We are of immense value, small and great, large and small because the Lord God who created heaven and earth loves us. No matter how little worth we have in our own eyes or the eyes of the world, to Him we are worth the price of His only Son.  

That’s why John goes on to say this, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

If you and I can raise adults who understand their own value, they’ll suffer from neither low self-esteem nor arrogance.  If we can raise adults who understand the value of their neighbor, they’ll be good citizens, people who build community.  If we can raise adults who understand that strangers, aliens, and even enemies are human beings, infinitely valuable imager-bearers of the Creator, then we will see them go to battle against human trafficking, poverty, abortion and war. 

That’s why this year my homeschooler will be studying theology.  She’s still pretty young but it’s not too early to start try to understand the heart of God.  As I created that curriculum for her, I decided I needed to share it with my subscribers too.  

#TheologyIsForKids FREE Theology Curriculum for homeschool, sunday school, or family devotionals!It's free, mostly because I want to live in a world full of young theologians.  Not the dusty kind.  The kind who know their worth and the worth of all the people God made.  The kind who are growing up in the image of their Father. 

Ready to subscribe and get the curriculum for your own little theologian?  Click here! Or send me an email at 


  1. Great post, Helene! I love that your daughter already understands the great truth that our value lies in the fact that God loves us. That will help her weather so many storms in life. Marvelous stuff. :)

  2. Beautiful! Isn't it awesome when our kids get it? This comes from living life and intentional conversation with God as the center of it all. Blessings!

  3. I love this. It's so important to train up a child when they are young. They bury those truths so deeply in their heart.