Have you ever bought an item for years and then the company suddenly repackaged it? Often it’s because the company wants consumers to view their product differently. They know they can often change the way a product is packaged and consumers will view the product differently – even if the product itself has not changed at all.
One of the most dangerous things people do is try to repackage God. Studies have shown our brains are wired in such a way that we try to make God fit into the image we want to have of Him – whether or not it even remotely resembles who God really is and what He truly wants from us. Your kids – just like the rest of us – will be susceptible to this tendency unless you prepare them.
The problem with your kids repackaging God into their image of Him is twofold. First, this new image they have created of God may not resemble God at all. Secondly, they may be so focused on shaping God into the image they want to have of Him, they forget to reflect God’s true image – which they have now possibly altered to the point that they are merely reflecting themselves to the world – not God.
So how can you protect your kids from this repackaging problem? They need to know God as He really is and there is one excellent way to do that – reading the Bible. It is amazing to me how many people will take only one or two stories from the Bible and make gigantic leaps as to what those stories reveal about all of the attributes of God. God is so much more complex than that. The Hebrews realized it and used a number of different names to describe God – each one of them reveals another characteristic of God. Your kids need to understand all of those parts of God’s character.
Your children need to see for themselves by reading the Bible that God can be a God of loving grace and a God who strikes dead on the spot those who disobeyed Him. He is the God who heals and the God who sent plagues to punish people for disobedience. He is multifaceted and your children need to understand all of those facets to the best of their ability.
The more your children understand who God is and what He wants from them, the more likely they are to actually obey Him and not their faulty ideas of what He wants from them. It will help them reflect God accurately to those in the world. Knowing who God really is will help them live their faith every day of their lives. Give your kids the faith building gift of teaching them about God’s original packaging – not the repackaged human version.