How to Answer Your Child’s Baffling Questions About God
Has your child ever stumped you with a question about God or the Bible?
For me, it usually happens when I’m distracted by work or a household task, mentally unprepared to discuss whether or not Adam and Eve had belly buttons, or why God created termites.
And as my daughters grow older, their questions become less amusing and more heart-wrenching, like, “Why did God let my friend’s mom die from cancer?” or “If He loves me, then why won’t He take away my anxiety, my insecurity, my pain?”
I wish I knew.
Often the same questions our kids are asking, we parents wonder ourselves. And while the Bible has a lot to say about just about every subject on the planet, it’s oddly silent about certain things, too. And we’re left to wade in the mystery of how God works, and what that means for us here on earth.
Here is how I’ve learned to handle my kid’s questions bout God with gentleness and respect.
(1) If I don’t know the answer off the top of my head, I say, “Let’s look it up together.”
This not only encourages our kids to seek the Bible for answers to their questions; it also shows them it’s okay not to know, that even Mom and Dad get stuck sometimes. It demonstrates by example that God’s Word is a bottomless resource of wisdom that they can turn to again and again throughout their lives.
(2) Listen for the question beneath the question.
Often our kids’ inquiries about God or the Bible are rooted in an emotion like fear or rebellion. If the question suggests a serpent-like agenda (“Did God really say…?) then address the doubt along with the answer. Or if their questions go beyond curiosity to reveal a plea for support or encouragement (fear of dying, fear of rejection, doubts about their worth, etc.), be sure to nurture the felt need through a biblical lens. God’s Word is filled with affirmations of His love for us.
(3) Google it.
No joke—the beauty of the internet is its wealth of trustworthy commentaries, available at our fingertips. Just focus on the “trustworthy” part. Stick with sites you know are reputable and aligned with your family’s values and beliefs. We can gain tons of insight from Bible scholars whose passion and job is to illuminate Scripture for us. I often type in a search phrase like, “Do animals go to heaven,” then click on results from sites I trust (and ignore the ones I don’t). And of course, filter everything you read through the Word of God.
(4) Keep a good reference book or devotional on hand.
For younger kids, we liked Ken Ham’s Answers Book for Kids box set. For ages 8 to 12 (and parents, too), I just published a new resource through Our Daily Bread called Moments with God for Kids: 100 Devotions to Answer Your Questions About Our Amazing God. It’s a collection of short yet meaningful devotionals, each answering a question about God, heaven, the Bible, etc. that middle-grade students often ask. My own 12-year-old is reading it right now for her bedtime devotional! Check it out wherever books are sold.
When we take our children’s questions seriously, work together to find the answers, and support their intellectual and emotional growth through Scripture, we can instill in their hearts and souls a hunger to know the Word and its Author.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).