“Dad, why did God make me?”
“Dad, why can’t we go to heaven to see what it’s like, then come back home?”
“Dad, if God wants us to get to know Him, why doesn’t He let us see Him?”
All of the above are questions that my children have asked me. Why do I remember those out of all the questions they have ever asked? Well, because trying to answer those three questions is not something you easily forget.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that as difficult as some of my children’s questions are, taking the time to answer them is the most time-effective way to teach them. When children ask a question, all of their learning receptors are turned up to full. They’re curious. They’re thinking about it. They’re truly listening. They want to hear what you have to say. Taking a few moments to answer their questions can be more effective than hour-long sermons or lectures.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, take a few minutes to look up the answer with them or call someone who you think world know. Be careful that you don’t make my mistake, though. Once one of my daughters said something like, “I wonder why God made me?” After about 10 minutes of attempting to explain I came up for breath. She was looking quite perplexed. When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “Dad, I didn’t want you to answer. I was just saying that I sometimes think about it.”
I still answer their questions, but now I make sure they’re looking for an answer, and I keep it short and wait for follow-up questions.
For more quick and easy parenting tips and teachable moments, we recommend “Parenting at the Speed of Life”
(RICK OSBORNE / Christian Author, Speaker & Dad – your source for Christian Parenting advice)