What to Do When They Ask 'Why?'
We were driving home from church when what did I hear from the back seat?
Jacob, only three-years-old, had caught the “Why?” bug. He repeated himself incessantly, “Why? Why? Why?” I was astonished, and flooded with questions of my own.
“Who taught him this?”
“How dare they put a questioning spirit in my son’s heart!”
“How do I answer this?”
My mind wasn’t seeking to answer the question, “How do I answer this question?” It was struggling to answer, “How do I answer all of the why questions over the next twenty years?” I was panicked, but what I quickly realized was that I was being given a gift. My son was asking me why. This was a grand opportunity to guide and teach him. But how do I answer his questions of “Why?”
Scripture has answers for many of the questions our kids will be faced with, and directing my kids to scripture, as the source of wisdom, is critical. That means as parents we have to be in the Word, memorizing and seeking after the wisdom it has to offer. In Colossians 2:2-3 we read Paul’s letter saying:
“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Did you catch that? “In Christ is hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” So as parents seeking to answering the longing questions of our children’s hearts we need to know the source of wisdom - Jesus Christ. In John 1 we are told that Jesus is the Word, so we know we can read our Bibles to find Him. The Lord knew when He gave me this child that I would not have all the answers. He knew that I would fall short. He tells us in James 1:6:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
So how does this all practically play out?
In our house the question of “Why?” comes up frequently. Just this week one of my boys asked, “How do you know that Jesus is the only right way?” Now I know this wasn’t asked as a “why” question, but at the heart of it is actually, “Why do we believe what we believe?” My answer was,
“Scripture tells us that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me [Jesus].” (John 14:6)
My son’s question led us to a great conversation about the truth of Jesus in our lives. I’m sure this won’t be the last time this question comes up in our home. We will continue to work through our sons’ ponderings, dreams, doubts, and fears for years to come. This is why we are intentional to equip ourselves on a daily basis by reading our Bible.
Going back to James 1. I may not have all the answers, but I serve an incredibly gracious God. When I pray and ask Him for guidance and answers He always delivers. Don’t be afraid to ask Him. Go to Him with your own questions of “Why?” Just like us, as parents, He will always answer in His lovingkindness.
I may not have all the answers, but I serve an incredibly gracious God.