Summary: Kids WILL ask questions, won’t they? How do you handle those times? An examination of principles for training your children when they ask those tough questions.
Daddy, why do we close our eyes when we pray?
Why do we pray to God and not to Buddah?
Why do we have to go to church?
Why do we have to live so different? Why can’t we be like…
Every parent has faced them: Those innocent questions from the angelic faces of children -- or sometimes it’s the antagonistic questions flung over a shoulder as a teenager retreats to his/her room… hopefully that’s not the case with any of the parents that are here today But unfortunately, it does happen often to good Christian Fathers
But God NEVER leaves us without direction From this passage we learn a critical truth about being the fathers we need to be. That critical truth is simply this:
To answer children’s questions concerning faith, a father must know where he has been, know what God has done for him, and be commited to continual obedience to God’s Word.
One interesting note about this passage: Notice the attitude of the Father to the questioning of the child. He simply responds to the question. He does not get angry and say, How dare you question the ancient landmarks Don’t you know that we Jews have been doing this for generations?
I think the lesson that we can learn from this is:
Don’t be AFRAID OF QUESTIONS Some people might think, Not MY kids They’ll NEVER question the heritage they were raised with I’m sorry to burst that bubble… But if you are living your life according to the Word of God and striving for holiness of lifestyle, your kids WILL ask questions.
We think of babies as the little pictures of innocence, but God’s Word says in Psalm 58:3 that they too go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. No one, apart from cooperating with the grace of God, naturally tends toward following God’s Word Isaiah 53:6 tells us that All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way… So if you are following God’s Word carefully, you are going to encounter some questions, probably even some opposition from your children -- they just naturally desire to turn to their own way.
The key, then, is not to try to squelch or dismiss the questions that come, but to answer them honestly in the light of truth as God has revealed it, and in light of your experience.
God speaks through Moses here, giving us a set of solid Biblical principles to help us deal with raising our children, specifically
In order to answer your children’s questions concerning faith, you must know:
I. Where We Have Been "…he [God] passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt…" (v. 27)
God did not want the Israelites to forget that without him, they’d still be in Egypt. Keeping that sense of where they had been would keep them admitting their dependence on God, a valuable thing that they needed to pass on to their children.
Now obviously, we’ve not been in the country of Egypt, but the principle carries over and applies to our lives. Where have we been? Where would we be without God?
- We’ve been in sin. Sometimes that’s a hard one to admit. We tend to think we’re pretty good people, overall. Although we’d never say it, it’s easy to almost feel as though we deserved God’s grace. Occasionally we need to simply pause and remember that we were hopelessly lost and without God, and could never deserve His great love and mercy, no matter what our background.
- If we forget where we’ve been, or what we would be NOW if not for grace, we will lose all sense of NEED of GOD! We’ll start to feel pretty good about ourselves. Isn’t that American mentality of lifting myself up by my own bootstraps and doing it MY way is SO ingrained in us? It can give us BIG problems spiritually if we are not very careful.
God’s Word tells us that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Anyone here want grace? Boy, I do So I want to stay humble: I want to remember that I was once dead in trespasses and sin.
II. What God Has Done (v. 27) "…when He smote the Egyptians and delivered our houses."
Imagine for a moment that you are an Israelite in Egypt… staying inside your house, blood over the door, as you begin to hear the screams from the surrounding countryside as Egyptian fathers and mothers discover that their children are dead Something about that would imprint itself deep on your heart -- it would be hard to lose the memory of what God had done. Again, we’ve not been inside our house while God wreaked havoc on the Egyptians in our neighborhood. But the principle applies to us still: