Hey dad, “Can I have three candy bars because they are called 3 musketeers.”
Hey dad, “My heart is beating, is that good?”
Hey dad, “If saws cry, will they get rusty?”
Hey dad, “Where do bad guys live? Why are they bad guys?”
And on and on it goes. I often picture my life a lot like a group of beach balls at a baseball game. Life is just full of yet another random question or some deep truth to try to explain in simple terms. Just as I hit one in the air another one falls down.
Kids are programmed to ask all kinds of questions as they try to make sense of the world. What happens if I leave this light on? What happens if I stick this metal item in the outlet? What happens if I jump off the roof? What happens if I throw this car at my brother’s forehead? How many times can I say that to mom and dad before they snap? (is it true everytime) Why do I have to clean up my toys? Why? Why? Why?
It is fun to watch them try to make sense of things in their own innocent way, at least at times. It becomes even more exciting when these things turn to God and things they have learned during Sunday School.
“How does God make skin?”
“If I didn’t have eyeballs, I couldn’t see. That’s good God made eyeballs.”
” Why have some people not heard about Jesus?”
“Why does my teacher tell that kid he was being good when he is never nice? Isn’t that lying?”
“I don’t have to be scared because God is always with me, right dad?” “Where is He, can He go through walls?”
“Is it church day because all I have left in my drawer are church pants?”
As clever as their responses are at times, I often resort to the default answer, “because.” I am certain that this response irritated me as a child, but those memories have been suppressed somewhere. Besides, isn’t it every parent’s goal to become like their parents?
You know there is a reason why Jesus talked about child like faith. Children take things at face value. Children don’t need long explanations, they just take the answer. This is to their benefit when it comes to truth, but it works against them when it comes to lies. I know that my kids will hear lies, so my goal is to give them as much truth as possible to counteract any impact lies might have on them.
A few weeks back I was sharing the Gospel with my oldest son on the way to the dump. We were just talking about the cross and sin. Here’s how the conversation basically went:
“Do you know why Jesus died on the cross?”
“To forgive for my sins?”
“Do you know what that means?
“It means that you did something that God didn’t allow. And you were supposed to get in trouble for that. But instead Jesus got in trouble for you and you don’t have to get in trouble for that anymore.”
“Do you know why He did that for you?”
“What’s your memory verse?”
“For God so loved the World that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believers in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“So, God did that because He loved you so much He wants to be with you.”
There was more to the discussion, but this illustrates how easily he understood it.
Now fast forward to high school. When I talk with high school students I often get push back on something they have doubts about. Very few of them take things at face value anymore. Again, this is good in the sense that they are learning what they believe for themselves and bad in the sense it can get in the way of faith.
“What about my friends? They are nice, why would God punish them?”
“Why does God, if He is good, allow people to suffer?”
“Why do we believe the Bible, I mean there are other books that people believe in?”
“Why would God punish anyone, why not just save us all?
Sometimes the most complete answer I can give someone is “because” This is not because I don’t want to give a deeper answer, but I just don’t have anything else to go on. Faith isn’t based completely on what is unknown, we do have the Word of God. We look at the Bible and recognize that it is truth and we should then believe it. We do need to actually read it and then apply it in faith. Even so, there are things we do not understand and need to trust God in them, without knowing how it all turns out. Will we always get it? No. But it is fine because when God says “because” that is a more than adequate answer. Let’s not over complicate things, but instead become like children who simply trust God. Things don’t always go as planned, but God is always good.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14