By COURTNEY INGLE
My 5-year-old daughter, Taylor, was in the backseat, bobbing her head along with the music, lost in thought. We drove past Peach Tree Village Assisted Living in Brandon, which is now closed due to the flood that shut the building down last year.
“Wow, I wonder who sinned there!” Taylor wondered aloud.
I stifled a chuckle to the best of my ability and asked her to say that again.
“Well, God sent the flood like He did with Noah because there was sin,” she said matter-of-factly. “So someone had to have sinned for Nana’s old people’s house to flood!”
After gathering a breath from hysterical laughter, I explained to Taylor that no, this flood just happened. It wasn’t because Gertrude was cheating at bingo.
“Remember God’s promise? He wouldn’t flood the whole earth again,” I said. “I don’t think this was because of sin. The water just backed up and the rain just kept coming.” That answer satisfied her.
Taylor’s first experience with a death in the family brought even more questions.
“Why did she still die if we prayed? Will she come back like that one friend in the Bible did?” Taylor was referring to Lazarus, of course.
While it’s easy to say, “Well, she’s just a kid,” I think we as parents often dismiss these moments instead of really seeing what God has for both the parent and the child here.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” This places a heavy job on our shoulders, right?
But there’s also Matthew 18:2-4. “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”
So, in answering the sometimes hard-to-address questions my daughter throws at me (often at bedtime, of course), I’ve had the opportunity not only to teach her but to assess my own faith and humility when I come before the Lord.
Still, we may be afraid to answer our kids’ questions incorrectly. It is OK to tell your child, “I don’t know the answer. Can we look it up in the Bible together?” You can also speak to a children’s minister about how to answer. (Thank God for KoKo at Park Place Baptist!)
Embracing these teachable moments fulfills a parenting commandment:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” – Deuteronomy 6:5-7.
Courtney and her husband, Jeremy, live in Brandon and are members at Park Place Baptist Church in Pearl. They have a daughter, Taylor, and a son, Jacob. Courtney is a full-time homemaker and can be reached at email@example.com.