“Where did God come from?”
“If I have to love my enemies, does God love Satan?”
“Why did God let my goldfish die?”
“How does God get in our house when the door is locked?”
“If God talks to me, why don’t I hear Him?”
Over at Deconstructing Neverland, Bobby explains that his five-year-old asked “God says we should love our enemies, does God love Satan?”
Our ability to answer these questions, and to do so in a way that is meaningful to our children, is important. It is important to them, but it is also important to us. If we can’t give them a meaningful answer we may need to ask ourselves if we have one. I know there have been several times that our kids have asked me or Stephanie something difficult and what I had to say to them not only left them looking at me in bewilderment, but left me asking myself, “with all that theological training, you don’t have a meaningful answer to that?”
The other benefit of these questions from our kids is that they make us stop and think about what we really believe. When an adult asks why God allows suffering, it may be easy to go into theological-mode and callously spout off some pre-cut answer. When our kids ask us those same questions we have to stop to, at least translate those pre-cut answers into simpler terminology or helpful metaphors, but maybe we go beyond that and say, “what do I really believe about this? and how do I express that to these curious little minds?”
You want to not only give your kids a clear answer, but you want to give them the true answer. They are your kids and you want to give them something meaningful when they ask difficult questions. It requires you to ask yourself if you have something meaningful to offer, and it requires you to ask if you live out that answer through your actions. Your kids will know if you don’t. They may even ask you why you don’t!
What are some of the tough questions that your kids have caught you off guard with?