These are all questions I've been asked by 9-year-old in the last two months. She's my kid who has to examine everything. She has to understand it all as well as she can. She has to ask questions until she can wrap her head around things. And sometimes she asks questions that are hard to answer. Sometimes she asks questions that make me think really hard.
I would love for my daughter to just quietly accept faith. I would love for her to have a rock-solid confidence in God. I would love for her not to question everything we believe. But that's not how she's wired. That's not how God made her.
God made her to need to ask questions, to understand things for herself. He made her an investigator. He made her inquisitive and tough. He made her that way knowing that at 9 1/2 years old she would start to question things. She would struggle to understand Him. She would want Him to be proved real.
In the midst of all of these questions, I discovered something. I learned that in all of my parenting, in all of my teaching, I had failed in one critical area. I had focused all of my time and attention on making sure my daughters know that Jesus loves them, that He died for them and that He rose again. But I failed to give them any tools to defend their faith. I failed to give them the knowledge they would need to answer others when they were questioned about what they believe.
So, my daughter and I are spending a lot of time doing some basic apologetics. We're covering the answers to all those questions at the beginning of this post and more. I'm doing my best to give her the tools to live out the words of 1 Peter 3:15: "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
As tough as it is to answer all of those questions, it's important. While it takes faith to follow Jesus, it also takes knowledge and understanding. Our kids have to be absolutely convinced of the truth of Jesus and the Bible. We can't give them our faith. They have to have their own. All we can do is give them the tools and the understanding to make the decision to have faith. The ultimate choice is up to them.
I want to help you give your kids those tools this year. As I struggle through answering the nearly constant barrage of questions my younger daughter has, I plan to share the answers with you, so you're prepared to answer your kids' questions. Every Monday this year, we'll look at a tough question that kids ask about God and Jesus and we'll answer it, so you can be prepared when your kids ask it.
I'd love to hear some of the questions you or your kids have that you'd like to see answered in this space on Mondays, so leave me a comment or head over to the Facebook page to let me know what your question is. Then, join us here every Monday as we enter into a yearlong quest to answer those questions on Tough Question Monday.