Why Take the Time to Answer the Child’s “Why”?
Oh to be young again and to have the kind faith that only a child can have when they look up to their family. In the early years the child really depends on their family a lot. While growing up the child can be quite dependent on certain members of the family, asking lots of questions. Usually a child seems to know what family member can be trusted, and is willing to listen to their many questions. The other family members should not be offended. The child will grow up and become more dependent learning to love all of the members of the family.
Having the privilege of being a parent and a teacher, I have witnessed children asking many questions of “Why?” or “How come?” There are days I love those little inquisitive minds, and other days I just don’t have the patience. I try to answer their questions with a smile, and take their questions seriously; but, I have been known to give sarcastic answers on occasion. No one can be perfectly happy answering all questions asked, nor is it expected.
When it comes to the Bible, I often ask questions of clarification…because frankly, I don’t understand a lot of what I am reading, hearing, or maybe I am interpreting it wrong. If I am unsure of what His word is trying to reveal to me, I think–go ahead and ask questions. Didn’t Jesus say, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these…”?
Dare I say that Jesus was calling us not to only rely on “blind” faith, but to ask questions, seek answers, and find evidence of His truth within His word?
Lately, I have wondered that if I did not ask questions and get clarification, what kind of case for Christ would I be able to make to others. Could possibly the same questions I had–be one day asked, from those of this world, to me? Would I be well equipped to answer such questions?
It seems to me that there may not be enough encouragement for this question-asking and answer-seeking process within the family of the church. I am not knocking the church at all. Most of the time, she does the best she can with those “little rascals” (like me) who tend to get off task. But, could the family possibly lack the understanding as to why the child may want an answer to their particular question asked? Could it be the family is only confident answering the child’s obvious questions, and not their “super inquisitive” questions? I fear some family members may think them not appropriate to the learning process.
The problem with choosing which questions to answer, and not answer, is that the child will leave their family and go out into the world. If the child’s family has not prepared them with a solid biblical foundation, they might encounter others that could quickly convince them that His truth does not set anyone free at all. The world may also say there is no grace or mercy in forgiveness of shame and guilt the child might have in their heart…for whatever reason they carry this burden.
Satan is always putting obstacles in the way of the child so that they will fall down. Without the proper nurturing of their spiritual growth, the family may see another soul fall away. I would hope that the family would feel great sorrow for the loss of their child, if this were to happen.
At the same time the child should take some responsibility on their own; listening to their family, heeding what they say, and becoming passionate about learning His truth and grace. Along with the growing passion of the child–the family may also grow to be confident in answering the child’s many questions, and not just the obvious questions. By not ignoring the child’s questions—the child will become better equipped for the challenges of this world, rather than having the world challenge them.
Pardon the cliche’… but it definitely takes a whole family to raise a child. Why take the time to answer the child’s “Why”? Because if the child can learn the Truth of God’s Word early on and put on the full armor of God, then they will be better equipped to make a case for Christ when they enter the world. Having that prior knowledge from having caring family could make the whole difference for survival in the world. They will be confident knowing that their faith and hope is found in Christ. All it might take on the family’s part is a little childlike faith. His Kingdom could be furthered by taking into account the innocence of the child’s questions, and taking the time to answer them.
“…sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” ~ 1 Peter 3:15