birthday boy musings

My deep thinker engaged me in a wonderful conversation at lunch. He began with, "Mom, you know how God does all those things in the Bible like separate the water (he was referring to God parting the sea for Moses) and stuff? I don't think I believe that because it just happened back then and it doesn't happen anymore for us. That's not really fair either."

I was thinking, "hmm, many adults in the world have the exact same hang-up to faith and belief." and "I wonder if he'll feel like that forever. I hope not." and "I think the same thing sometimes." and "where in the world is my seminary trained husband when I need him?"

My first response was a cop-out. "Oliver, we should really talk with Daddy about this." But, then I followed with, "You know O, I think what you're struggling with is a common doubt, many people think about those same things, including me, but this is really what faith is about. Believing and trusting in who God says He is. I believe Jesus existed and is real. And when he was on earth, He said that He was God... either he was lying or telling the truth."

He then questioned about the injustice (in his perspective) of Jesus bringing people back to life, but now people just die and don't come back. And I prayed that he wouldn't have to deal with a premature death in our family, because with a heart like his, i'm not sure he would recover. We had a few more words, but I could tell he had moved on in his thoughts so the conversation ended there. But it made me think about how important it is to allow my children to doubt and be honest about how they feel and where they are. It could be easy as a parent to shut them down at those times and manipulate them to belief at this age, but my goal is not to elicit superficial faith from them only to have it dissipate once they leave home or truly face life in it's harshness. I hope to speak honestly to them about my own faith journey, of how often I fail, doubt and remain faithless... and how God hasn't let go of me, how He pursues me and loves me and forgives me... and leads me to believe what is true. This is my prayer.

And Oliver, if you ever read this when you're all grown up, I want to thank you for your conversations and thoughts even at SIX... you're such a blessing to me and I'll always love you.


jess said...

kate, you really should write a book. you always have a way with words. i needed that reminder of such an important approach to our childrens' questions. and thanks again for the mini therapy session on the phone last night ;) it did my heart good!

Jean Joiner said...

Thanks for the insight into how to deal with those kinds of questions from kids. Since Everett can still only say a few words...I'll enjoy this time while it lasts. :) I love Oliver too!

keri said...

i want to cop-out sometimes too and say, "well, let's talk to daddy about that question"... their (what seems to be) simple questions usually end up making me really think as well. i love your perspective in allowing our kids to doubt and be honest as they are thinking through these questions.