Friday, October 20, 2006

Has Your Son Asked Yet? Part 2

I’ve been looking for the proper time to get into “Has Your Son Asked Yet?” Part 2, but it’s been a long and difficult week or so. Has it been that long ago? As most of you know, we’ve been traveling, and have finally arrived home a week ago today. Well, unfortunately, someone brought their little sick child into church Thursday night, and we all came down with the stomach flu. With a family of little ones, it’s a messy time. Thank God for a washer, and a sweet husband!

Anyway, getting back to the topic of kids asking questions and our responses - our children have a lot of information they need to daily process into their brains. As a result, they have many conflicting reports, and even thoughts that are difficult to understand, depending on their age. And, as I said before, once they are old enough to see that our family does things differently than some other families, they wonder the age-old question, “why?”

It should not surprise us that they ask. Yet, for some reason, most of us are mortified by the question. I think the fear is related to personal failure. Let me explain.

I have a dear friend who e-mailed me, saying that,

“I also remember not knowing why we did certain things, and later learning the reason why from somewhere else and telling my mom. She would just say, "You knew that! I told you that already!" She indeed could have told me a lot of these things, but either I didn't get it or didn't remember. Also, if I asked about something she got impatient or mad and thought I was trying to rebel about it.”

Why did her mother get angry? Simple: she felt threatened. She had an awfully lot riding on that little gal, and if she didn’t turn out the way she thought she should, then it spelled failure for her as a mother. Her daughter’s simple question became a personal threat.

A flood of emotions instantly goes through my mind when one of my children questions why we do what we do. They don’t know? Where have they been all this time? Have I failed to communicate this to them? How unsettled are they on this? Is there anything else they are questioning? Are they questioning this because they don’t want to do it? Don’t they want to please God? Are they headed down a path of rejecting truth, ending in certain destruction? HOW HAVE I FAILED? All these emotions become balled up in our hearts and can come exploding out the mouth, and we can say ugly things to our beloved children, even accusing them of rebellion, when perhaps all they want is information.

This emotional, uncontrolled response will only drive a wedge between our children and us. Before long, they will stop asking questions, fearing the nuclear explosion that is sure to follow. But it will not help them come to a proper conclusion in the matter in question.

If we are prepared in advance for the questions when they come, it will surely help us to field them. How can we prepare? 1) Be much in Prayer 2) prepare – study up on your convictions. Be sure they are convictions before enforcing them on your family. 3) remember how the Lord led you to that conviction, and be prepared to tell your children. And 4) Make sure your explanations are rational and logical. Many young people think they are rational, for the most part, and want to have things explained to them as though they are able to think through some difficult topics logically. Encourage them to understand that submitting themselves to God is their “good and reasonable service.”

The Bible says, “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Blowing up at them is not nurture, nor is it biblical admonition.

Let’s ask the Lord to help us know how to answer our children, so that we can lead them in the right paths.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Preach it, Mom!!! :) Very well stated. Can't wait for "Part 3"! :)

Love, Kathryn