Every parent who has older children knows that there’s that sweet age between 3 and 5 when children begin to ask “Why?” Every sentence, conversation, and explanation ends with the question, “Why?” For my wife and I, we are so there!
Whether we’re talking about food, the Bible and its stories, people, and various subjects, she always ends it with “Why,” or “But why?”
At first, I was determined to keep up with Anabelle. I looked at my wife and told her, “How else will she know? I need to answer her questions.” I even tried to smarten up (yeah, against a three-year-old) by answering her question with a question. But this “smarter-for-her-own-good” girl always somehow got back to asking, “Why?”
I’ll be honest, at times, it can get frustrating. I know that’s not her intention. Most doctors will tell us that much of the character development and foundational reasoning skills are developed between the ages of 2 and 7. Could it be that the reason she asks is because she’s trying to develop a sense of who she is?
If so, then it’s essential that I answer these questions right! It’s imperative that the reasons I relay to her stand the test of time. It’s important that she knows the mind of God on these matters, even if it may seem trivial to us.
She asked me the other afternoon, “Why do we always go to church?” We all know the popular answers. We can post them, preach them, and expect a good, hearty, “Amen,” in response. But have you asked yourself that question? Have you studied God’s Word to find out why you should go to church? There’s more than just Hebrews 10:25.
I know for a fact that asking “why” doesn’t stop when they go to school. Everyday, teenagers ask the same short question. Adults do, too. As a Christian, what do you say? How do you answer?
I am thankful for verses like 1 Peter 3:15 and James 1:5. They serve as promises from God that He can give us the answers to these tough questions.
I want to challenge you with the challenge I’ve given myself for a while but has gone to a new level since I became a Dad: Know what you believe and why you believe it – from doctrines to life principles to convictions and even preferences. When your children ask you “why” give them a good, solid, Biblical answer. They may not understand it at first but continue to rehearse that in their minds and hearts until they realize that the Author of these reasons is God. And the accountability one must have towards these commands is towards the Lord Himself.
On a somewhat connected note, as we mature, we don’t always ask “why” anymore. When problems come into our lives is when we may tend to ask that same question.
May I challenge you with this? Instead of asking the Lord “Why,” ask Him, “What? What do you want to accomplish through this trial? What you do want to do in me and through me during this process? What is your will in this matter?”
Though we can ask “Why” with a good attitude, I believe that asking “What” reveals a more submissive heart because now our concern is not the reason but the result. Whether we understand or not, God always, always, always requires our obedience.