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Thoughts on Questions

My kids were famous for asking awful questions. "If God is everyone's Father, who is everyone's Mother?" being just one of a whole series of difficult ones that cropped up throughout their childhood. The questions ran the gamut, heaven and hell, creation and evolution, how (and why) to forgive those who hurt us, and on and on. None of them were easy, many of them challenge my husband and I to dig deeper into our faith, and to take another look at what we believe, how we live our lives, and, once again, to grab on to God. Parenting is never easy. It is however the challenge of that journey that forces us to take the next step in our faith, whether our children are infants or 20 something's embarking on their new lives. So here are a few travel tips for your journey.

  • Don't be afraid of the questions, they are an invitation to have a conversation with your child that will give you a chance to know them better.
  • "I don't know." Is a perfectly acceptable answer, especially if followed by, "Let's find out" or "Let's ask someone."
  • No question is "off limits". Everything can and will be questioned. The question rarely tells you where your child will end up, it is just part of trying to figure out the world and were they fit in it.
  • Most questions will be followed by "Why?" or "Why not?". Explaining why you think the way you do is often more important than the answer. If gives your child a chance to understand how to think through an issue.

By the way my answer to my then four year olds question of "If God is everyone's Father, who is everyone's Mother?", God. It seemed to be enough at the time, I never got another question on God's parenthood.

Thursday, May 2, 2013
Linnae Peterson, M.Div.