Preschoolers enjoy asking “why” questions: Why is the giraffe’s neck so long? Why does grandpa walk with a cane? Why is the grass green?
Although receiving numerous “why” questions can be trying to parents, these types of questions can hold great spiritual significance. You see, it is through asking “why” questions that a child reveals a personal pondering of purpose. In other words, these questions reveal a child’s level of inquisitiveness, inquiry, and teachability.
So, rather than brush these questions aside, what do you think would happen if, as parents, we included the creator of purpose in our answers?
For example, in answer to the purpose for the giraffe’s long neck we could tell our children that God created giraffe’s with the need to eat leaves. God gave giraffe’s long necks so they could reach the best, freshest leaves found in trees.
To the question about grandpa’s cane, one might say, “God provided grandpa with a cane to help keep him safe by preventing him from falling.” As for the grass being green –God uses many, many colors throughout creation for our pleasure and enjoyment. As our creator, He chooses to give each element in nature exactly what He desires for His purposes.
Are you recognizing the spiritual significance in “why” questions?
What would happen if you actually chose to encourage, rather than deter, “why” questions in your child?
What if you took the moments of teachability one step further by helping your child consider the potential application of God’s Word in his or her life?
For example, you might ask your child, “In the same way you questioned why God gave giraffe’s long necks, have you considered God’s purpose in creating you?” “Have you thought about why God may have chosen to place you in our family?”
“Just as God met grandpa’s need through a cane, have you thought about all the ways God provides for us on a daily basis?” Why would He do that?”
“The color of grass is an example of God being a god of detail. Why do you think God cares about the details of our lives?”
As you can see, purposeful questions can stimulate conversations that are centered on the God of purpose. In turn, questions that once seemed trying become fulfilling in light of purpose!