We are curious by nature; we want to know the how, what, where, when, and why’s of life. If you have ever tried to answer all the questions of a three or four year old you know exactly what I mean. Their inquiry never ends, and so no sooner do you answer a question until they respond with the dreaded “WHY”. I realize wanting to know why is good, but parents can get a little annoyed after they have answered five or six in a row.
Please do not misunderstand, we should never discourage our children from wanting to know, learn, and grow. After all, we hope they develop a sound mind and good character, and so who better to answer their questions than us? We should encourage them to quiz us about life, right and wrong, and most importantly about God.
My little boys have grown up and they no longer ask me nearly the number of questions they used to. I hope it is not a matter of them no longer trusting me, because I think they still do. Nor is it a matter of them no longer having questions, because I know they do. It is just that they have reached a point in life when they can and should find the answers for themselves. This is what parents want for their children, for them to grow up with the tools they need to find the right answers.
Parents do a lot to help their children find these tools by their example and guidance. So what tools do we need to find the right answers in life? God said it all begins by developing a good and honest heart, and then He tell us how to go about doing this. We must love God with all our heart. (Luke 10:27). A pure heart follows God’s commands. (Deut. 6:6) Paul said to “pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Tim. 2:22) We are also told to “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.” (Heb. 10:22)
Teach your children that they will always need God’s answers in life. While they may reach an age when they seek less advice from their parents, they will never get too old to ask for Divine help. In fact, we make a mess of life when we ignore His guidance because we do not know the answers. (Jer. 10:23) He alone knows what is right and how we should live. (John 6:68-69) So the second tool for finding truth is trust in God’s answers, and a right hearted person will.
Next, help your children develop a respect for the Bible because only it gives God’s answers. (2 Peter 1:20-21) Sadly, many place more faith in what they want and think than they do in God’s Word. (John 5:37-40) They believe that He is somehow speaking to them through these emotions. People also say they trust in the Scriptures, but then reject the parts they do not like. (Mark 7:1-13) It makes no sense to think we can pick and choose when we have no right to reject any of what He says. Here is the third tool for finding truth, we must trust in God’s source for answers. So if you have the right heart the Bible will be your only guide. (Acts 17:11)
It also tells us how to think and live, and what it means to be a Christian. We will do everything God says, but we will do nothing without His authority. (Col. 3:17) As you might guess, authority comes from what the Bible reveals and not its silence. (1 Cor. 2:9-13) So a good hearted person will speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent. (Rev. 22:18-19) If you want God to answer your questions, you have to go to where He has given the answers. This is the fourth tool for finding truth; we must respect God’s authority. (Matt. 28:18-20)
The fifth tool we need to give our children is to help learn how to long for and seek after truth. (Psalms 119:131 & Prov. 8:17) We make every effort to find what is important to us, but unfortunately, many do not see the value in truth. Even when we have questions about spiritual issues, the right answers are often not that important to us. As a result, we take any old response as long as it sounds good and is not too hard. (2 Tim. 4:1-4) Who would take the same approach if they had a serious illness or if they needed legal advice? We would want the truth, and we would probably not stop searching until we got it.
The Jews on Pentecost asked the most important question, one that everyone should ask. Peter had convinced them that they had crucified the Christ and so they wanted to know what they needed to do. (Acts 2:37) They sought guidance from inspired apostles, men with the right answers. If they had asked that question of the Jews or pagans the answer would have been different. But Peter told them to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.” (Acts 2:38) This is not the answer most give today, but it is God’s answer and it is the one people need to hear. Turn your questions over to God and He will never lead you astray.