How I Explained the Trinity to My Kids
If you’ve been to Washington, D.C., you know there aren’t any skyscrapers in the city (we have a building height restriction). The closest thing we’ve got is the Washington Monument, and at 555 feet, you’d imagine it’s the tallest stand-alone structure in the city. That would be incorrect – in fact, it’s not even close.
That honor is held by the John Hughes Memorial Tower, a police radio tower on Georgia Avenue that bears a striking resemblance to the Eiffel Tower. And here’s the best part: it has been a great tool for explaining deep theology to my kids.
At 761 feet, the Hughes Memorial Tower soars high above D.C. and is easily seen as you fly into the city. And here’s a fun fact I learned from a Washington Post article last year: the tower, which is in the Brightwood neighborhood, was intentionally designed with a “Jesus fish” (an ichthus) on each of its three sides.
Anyway, back to explaining theology to my kids. I’ve been trying to communicate the Trinity to my daughters, who are ages four and five, and they’ve been struggling with it. One God in three Persons? That’s a hard concept to grasp, and I was struggling to explain it. But as they continued to ask questions, I got a bright idea.
I took them to the Hughes Tower and asked, “How many legs does that tower have?”
“Three,” they said.
“And how many towers are there?”
“That’s right,” I said. “Those three legs of the tower are separate at the foundation, but then they all come together to make one tower. In a similar way, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are separate Persons, but they come together to make one almighty God.”
We had to review the illustration a couple more times, but it eventually helped them grasp the mystery of the Trinity in a more concrete way. And I’ve got to tell you, it helped me quite a bit too. It’s amazing what you can learn if you take the time to teach your kids about their faith – even if you feel inadequate while you’re doing it.