What does God look like?
What does God sound like?
When does God ‘show up’ for you?
Have you ever really thought about these things? More importantly, have you ever asked your kids if they think about it?
Stop for a moment and consider who you are as a parent. Are you always the same person all the time for your kids?
If you’re like me, the answer is “no”.
Depending on the day and the moment, you might fill any one of the following roles: comforter, disciplinarian, caretaker, provider, boo-boo kisser, teacher, protector, and friend. In fact, chances are you wear multiple hats and exhibit multiple characteristics simultaneously.
So, if we truly believe God is our heavenly Father, then wouldn’t it make sense that He fills different roles for us at different times based on our different needs?
Fifteen years ago, my spiritual mentor gave me a large index card with the different names of God printed on the front and back of it. Before that time, I had never thought about the different facets and characteristics of God; I simply knew He was Creator and was to be obeyed.
Learning about, studying and, most importantly, speaking aloud the names of God transformed my faith. To this day, that card still sits in the front cover of my Bible and is referred to consistently.
You can further explore the glory and the goodness of God with your children through resources such the new I Am Devotional. Through 100 devotions, children will see how God’s names reflect His love, strength, trustworthiness, etc., and what that means as they develop a strong faith. The I Am Devotional is the perfect companion to I Am, the Bible storybook that first introduced children to the names and character of God.
The Names of God
Let’s examine just a few of God’s names:
El Elyon: The God Most High (Sovereign)
as seen in Luke 1:38:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
Jehovah-shalom: The Lord is Peace
as seen in Philippians 4:7:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Jehovah-jireh: Then Lord who Provides
as seen in Genesis 22:8
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Jehovah-shammah: The Lord is There
as seen in Ezekiel 11:16
“Therefore say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet for a little while I have been a sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.’
Doesn’t that revolutionize how you read “God” and “Lord” in scripture now?
It’s important for our children to know that we were created in God’s image (So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female he created them. ~ Genesis 1:27) and just as we express ourselves differently in different circumstances, so too can we call upon the various characteristics of God.
When I or my children are sick, I call specifically on the name of Jehovah-rapha, God our Healer.
When I need guidance for where to go or when a big decision needs to be made, I call upon Jehovah-nissi, God our Banner.
And whenever I simply need to feel the power and presence of the one and only Holy, Living and Compassionate God, I remember “El”, The Mighty One.
Teaching Kids the Character of God
The names of God tell us who He is and how He loves us. By beginning to call upon the names of God with our children, we show them what it truly means to draw nearer to God; we demonstrate that not only is He always present, but that we can understand ourselves better by embracing and understanding all the characteristics of God.
How familiar are you and your children with the names of God? Do any names resonate with you more than others in this seasons of your life? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
MORE ON THE NAMES OF GOD
Shop resources for grown-ups!
Praying the Names of God from Ann Spangler
This devotional guide focuses on the various names and titles of God, ones that reveal him as our Creator, our King, the Ancient of Days, El Shaddai, Elohim, Yahweh, and Abba are just some of the names that can lead us into deeper prayer and a more confident knowledge of the character and nature of God.
Praying the Names of Jesus from Ann Spangler
To know someone’s name in the ancient world was to know something about that person’s nature and character. By exploring the primary names and titles of Jesus, this unique devotional will draw readers into a deeper, more satisfying relationship with the one who is called Savior, Messiah, and Lord.
I Know His Name from Wendy Blight
Wendy Blight implements her practical and approachable style to equip readers to study the Word of God and then apply it to their own lives in practical ways. This study is for any woman who wants to move beyond simply knowing about God to really knowing God in a very personal way. Join Wendy as she teaches how the very names of God reveal His character and heart.