You understand how the Holy Trinity works, but how do you teach children so that they understand that God is also a person and a spirit? Here are some tips to help make it easier.
St. Patrick used a shamrock to explain how the Holy Trinity works. Each petal on the clover represents an entity of God. The top petal is God. The other two petals represent Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is good, except that it doesn't explain how this came to be. In other words, it's a good representation, but not a solid explanation.
First, a child needs to understand that according to Christianity, God is, was, and always will be. No one made Him. He has always existed. This is something that Christians accept as truth because of our belief in God and what is written in the Bible. Children are usually very open to accepting this fact, especially if living a Christian life is taught daily in the home.
Christian children hear stories about Jesus all the time in Sunday School classes and at home. They know who Jesus is and why he came to earth. Telling children that Jesus is God in human flesh is the next step part of the Trinity. To make this concept clear to children, you may want to point them to Bible scripture where it tells that God is Jesus. Such verses include Matthew 1:23, John 1:14 and John 10:30.
When Jesus left the earth, there was no longer any physical sign of God's dwelling in our life. God (Jesus) had gone back to heaven. But he did leave something very important for us as we continued to walk in His presence. He left us the Holy Spirit. You can point your child to scripture about the Pentecost, which is the first time God entered the disciples bodies to live in them forever.
The Holy Spirit is what guides us in making decisions, which children can relate to. If they do something wrong, do they feel sorry for it? If they help another person, do they feel joy? The Holy Spirit guides our emotions and makes us think before we act upon something. The Holy Spirit is a Christian's assurance that God has not left us, even though we have never seen Him or Jesus in the flesh.
God left us one other very important piece to understanding the Holy Trinity. This is the Bible. We can use the Bible and its scripture to show children exactly where each piece of the Holy Trinity started and the hope that we have in Jesus' return.
Another way to explain the Trinity would be that God is the planner, Jesus is the tool used to tell of the plans, and the Holy Spirit is the action (people) that puts the plan into motion. One other way to explain the Trinity would be to have three rings made of gold, but each that are different colors. God is the gold, and He has three different colors (Himself, Jesus and the Holy Spirit).
- Think Quest