Young children are full of questions. At some point though, the questions start to slow and eventually almost disappear. Unfortunately, the years when your kids often stop asking you questions are often the years when their questions can have important consequences for their future.
When I teach a Bible class with older kids or teens, I will often encourage them to write down the questions they have about God, the bible, Christianity or something specific in the lesson. You would be amazed to find that the child who seems the least likely to even give God a passing thought can ask some of the deepest most heartfelt questions you have ever heard.
Our children have lots of unanswered questions. Vitally important questions. Questions if left unanswered by Christians, the world will be more than happy to provide ungodly answers to later. There are a lot of reasons our kids don’t automatically ask their parents or Bible class teachers these questions. The reasons don’t matter as much as the fact that these questions are going unasked.
Parents are often afraid of the big questions about God and the Bible. Sometimes those questions seem almost impossible to answer. We are afraid of looking stupid in front of our children. We are perhaps afraid we will accidentally drive our children away from God by answering the questions or even allowing our children to voice them.
The fact is a question or a doubt doesn’t drive a child away from God, but an unanswered one can. Unanswered questions can mean your children will come to some inaccurate conclusions. They can leave your kids susceptible to learning “answers’ from someone who is trying to drive them away from God.
Don’t grill your children, but encourage them from time to time to share their questions with you. Maybe you can begin by sharing questions you had about God at their age and what you have learned since then. Don’t be afraid to tell your children their questions are so good, you want to take some time to make sure you are giving them the best possible answer. (Then make sure you do get back to them with an answer.)
At times the answer will be “We just don’t know” or “Our minds aren’t really capable of totally understanding that.” That’s okay, if that is the best possible answer. Your children need to begin to understand that faith is a part of Christianity – the ability to accept what God says is true, just because He is God and said it is true.
Taking the time and effort to encourage your children to ask the hard questions and then helping them find answers is so important. If you do it regularly, it can be an important way to help them build a strong biblical foundation for their lives.