Whoa. This is what she thinks about while she's skating? Why couldn't I get an easy question like, "Who's a better hockey player, Wayne Gretzky or Gordie Howe?"
As I undid the double knots in her skate laces, I pondered my answer to her question. I ended up telling her that God gave us free will so that we could bring glory to Him, but I don't think either one of us were satisfied with that answer.
So, it got me to thinking about the tough questions our kids ask. What do we do with them? How do we answer them? What if we're wrong in our answers?
As a mom, it's easy to think we have to have all the answers, especially when it comes to God. We want our kids to have faith. We don't want them to doubt, so we feel like we need to answer all their questions with some profound thought. But that's unrealistic. You and I have questions and doubts sometimes. It's natural to think that our kids would, too. So, how do we deal with the tough questions, the ones that don't have simple answers and may not have answers at all?
Start with prayer. When your kids ask a tough question, throw up a quick plea for help. God knows the answer, and He promises to give us wisdom when we ask. James 1:5 says "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."
Don't be afraid to admit you don't know the answer. Some questions don't have answers. We don't know the mind of God. We can't fathom His purposes. And it's OK to admit that. Our kids appreciate honesty. They appreciate knowing that we don't know everything about God, either. Admitting you don't know the answer is way better than giving your kids a half-hearted, simplistic answer.
Use scripture. If at all possible, have your kids look up the answer themselves. Show them the scripture that answers their question. Our kids can hear things from us over and over again, but actually seeing the scripture gives them tangible evidence that God actually said it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." That verse tells us that the Bible is a tool, one that you can use to teach your child.
Ask your kids what they think. Find out what your kids think the answer is. Knowing the conclusions your child has already reached will give you a place to start. You can root out any misinformation and address it in your answer. Asking your child their opinion also gives them a chance to process the question on their own before you give them and answer. They may already know the answer and are simply trying to confirm what they already know.
Sometimes the questions our kids ask are hard. Sometimes they come at odd moments. We need to be prepared to answer them, even if the answer is simply, "I don't know. We'll have to ask God when we see Him."