Children ask the most interesting questions about God. It is easy to dismiss these questions, but that isn’t beneficial for their walk with Christ. As a parent, it is your job to disciple them as they grow in their relationships with Christ. That means fostering an environment where questions are welcome so that when they are confused about something, they will not hesitate to ask. It is important to treat their questions seriously even when it initially sounds silly. It is also important to use scripture when answering these questions. For example, a common question I hear all the time from children is, “Do I have to be nice to everyone?”
First, you should praise them for coming to you. Most of the time, children are asking these questions because they are genuinely seeking answers. Assure them that they aren’t alone in feeling that some people make it really hard to be nice to. It is even harder to control your emotions when we are upset with someone.
As a Christian, though, it is good practice to lean on God to guide you. Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry and do not sin.” This shows your child that it is okay to get angry. It is important to acknowledge those emotions but react in a way that honors God. John 13:34 shows us how it honors God. God gives us a command to love one another, and by doing so, we are showing everyone that we are indeed followers of him. You should ask follow up questions to make sure they understood everything and clarify things that they found confusing.
One of the more difficult questions that I have been asked is, “Why does God let bad things happen?” If God is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good, why does he allow so much suffering to go on in this world?
This is a very tough question, and if you aren’t able to answer that question, it is okay. You don’t want to pretend to know something that you do not, so simply acknowledge that it was a great question and that you will look into it for them.
I had no idea how to answer this at first. I dove into scripture and talked to my pastors to equip myself. I learned that God allows the consequences of sin. When God created the world, it was perfect. Sin only entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
We must remember that we are all sinners just like Adam and Eve, as stated in Romans 3:23. When all of these horrible things happen, it is a result of us living in a sin-filled world.
If we have put our faith and trust in Christ alone, we don’t have to face the penalty of sin, but instead, we have been given the gift of salvation and eternal life in Heaven because Jesus came down, lived a sin-free life, died so our sins could be forgiven, and rose again to show victory over sin and death. It is there where there is no sickness or suffering. While on Earth though, we must endure this suffering which God uses for good in order to strengthen and mature us (James 1:2-4).
Do not fear what you do not know or cannot answer. Lean into your local church and speak to people who can give you some wisdom on answering some of the wild questions that your children will ask you.