Christian Parenting and Family Resources with Biblical Principles

The Curiosity of Children: How to Answer a Child’s Questions About Faith

  • Richard Lee Sorensen
The Curiosity of Children: How to Answer a Child’s Questions About Faith

The curiosity of children is quite possibly the greatest player in their drive to learn. It is one of the single most compelling aspects of human life in that it motivates us to go from a baby crawling on the floor, to a toddler toppling over, to a child chasing a firefly through a cool summer night. Curiosity pushes us to communicate with gestures and words in order to ask for the things we want, and it guides us towards the answers to the things we don’t yet understand.

The curiosity of children and the questions they ask also can make us stop in our tracks with disbelief, shed a tear in sorrow, or hide our faces as we quietly struggle to hide the laughter we do not want them to see. My poor parents knew the curiosity of kids very well from raising two boys, yet they were never fast enough to muffle our mouths when an inappropriate question was just too important to ask. A question like, “Mommy, why does that lady have a mustache?”

Not only did my brother and I each ask this very same question on a completely different day, but we asked it about two different women my mom happened to be with at the time! I share this to elaborate on the fact that a child’s curiosity can guide them down a dangerous path (like insulting your parent’s friends and the realization of what would happen when you got home), but it can just as easily guide them towards truth and growth. Either way, parents and grandparents are usually the first to receive a child’s barrage of questions and are tasked with the responsibility to not just give them an answer but to give them a healthy and accepting outlet for their curiosity. This is especially crucial when it pertains to the faith they see us living out as Christians.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/David Rangel

Answering a Child’s Questions in the Light of Scripture

Answering a Child’s Questions in the Light of Scripture

As Christian parents and grandparents, we believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. We hold fast that it is able to answer our children’s or grandchildren’s s questions about faith.

Questions like:

“Where did God come from?”
“Do I have to get baptized?”
“Why did God kill everyone in a flood if He loves us?”
“How come I didn’t get a bike when I prayed for one?”
“Is my grandpa in heaven even though he never went to church?”

Photo Credit: Unsplash/John Mark Smith

"The great part is that each one of those questions...has an answer in the Bible."

"The great part is that each one of those questions...has an answer in the Bible."

If you been around kids for any amount of time, you know that these questions usually come the moment you take a bite of food or a sip of your drink. Then they'll wait for an answer while you choke and cough for 5 minutes at the unexpectedness of their question.

The great part is that each one of those questions, and practically every faith question they can think of, has an answer in the Bible. 

“Where did God come from?”
“God didn’t come from anywhere. God is everywhere, and He has always been.”
(Psalms 90:2, Isaiah 57:15)


“Do I have to get baptized?”
“Yes, Jesus says that we all need to be baptized if we are Christians.”
(Matthew 28:19)


“Why did God kill everyone in a flood if He loves us?”
“People had become so bad and didn’t want to change. God showed He loved us by sparing mankind with Noah and his family he still loved God.”
(Genesis 6:9-22)


“How come I didn’t get a bike when I prayed for one?”
“Either you didn’t have enough faith, you didn’t ask with the right motives, God didn’t want you to have it, or He may have something better for you instead.”
(James 1:6-7, James 4:3, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9)


“Is my grandpa in heaven even though he never went to church?”
“The Church isn’t a building you go to, but the people that believe that Christ died for their sins and raised from the dead. If he believed, then he will be in heaven.”
(Acts 14:27, John 3:16)

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Annie Spratt

"Getting to the heart of ... their question is something that takes more than an answer. It takes a conversation."

"Getting to the heart of ... their question is something that takes more than an answer. It takes a conversation."

But what about questions our children or grandchildren ask that may not have a clear and obvious answer in Scripture? Questions like:

“I want to help the poor, but I don’t know how.”

“I want to give my teacher a gift to tell her God loves her. What should I get her?”

The problem we run into with just giving the biblical answers to the questions they ask is that it may not answer the question that your children or grandchildren are actually asking.

Children can and will ask questions about faith from the standpoint that they want an answer because they just don’t know. I’ve found these types of questions are usually asked when my family is reading the Bible together and they don’t understand a passage or story. All that’s really needed is to break it down so it’s easier for their developing minds to grasp. Most of the time, however, when one of my seven kids come to my wife or me with a question about our Christian faith, it’s because they have a decision to make or a personal issue that they are processing. Getting to the heart of the reason why they are asking their question is something that takes more than a simple answer. It takes a conversation.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Christopher Campbell

"... we not only take the time to answer their questions, but also to ask them questions."

"... we not only take the time to answer their questions, but also to ask them questions."

Taking the time to pause whatever we are doing and talk with our children and grandchildren when they ask a faith question is important. It’s also important to not only take the time to answer their questions, but also to ask them questions. Jesus does this throughout the New Testament by asking questions instead of immediately giving answers. This way, the person asking must reveal their heart's purpose in their question (Matthew 21:16, Mark 10:2-3, Luke 6:1-3).

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

"Just be sure that you are spending time in the Word of God to learn these truths yourself."

"Just be sure that you are spending time in the Word of God to learn these truths yourself."

An example of seeking out your child’s heart behind their questions is in how we answer the question, “Do I have to get baptized?” Maybe you’ve asked this question as a child and know where I’m going, but I’m guessing almost all church-going parents hear this and quickly understand that this child isn’t necessarily seeking theological reasons for why they should be baptized. He or she is most likely scared of some aspect of the baptism experience and is trying to see if there is a way around it. That doesn’t mean their fear changes the command of Christ, nor should we be unaware of biblical teachings on the subject. It does mean that seeking to communicate the biblical answer in love is far greater than just seeking to give a biblical answer. Just be sure that you are spending time in the Word of God to learn these truths yourself.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Sage Kirk

"Of course, there will be times you may not know the answer..."

"Of course, there will be times you may not know the answer..."

We are called to “... always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15). The Bible will not fly off of the shelf into your lap and tell you to take five as it reveals its truths in a way that makes the scripture understandable. It feels really weird to admit this, but the printed Word of God is useless in a house where the parents or grandparents never read it and the child is too young to read it themselves. It’s nothing more than a decoration, and it has a really good chance of remaining a decoration as the child grows older if we do not treat it as the remarkable gift that it is.

Of course, there will be times you may not know the answer to a question no matter how much you read and study the Bible. It’s during these times that we rely on seeking the Lord in prayer, asking Him to guide us.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Answering a Child’s Questions in the Light of Our Personal Relationship With Christ

Answering a Child’s Questions in the Light of Our Personal Relationship With Christ

God’s guidance and direction in the decisions we make is sometimes difficult to determine and should be saturated in biblical discernment. This does not, however, remove the responsibility that we are called to listen for his voice and do as He commands (John 10:27). Paul shows us this in the way he followed the command of the Lord in his traveling ministry to preach the gospel. While we know it’s right for us to, “…go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” (Mark 16:15) the Lord shows Paul that there is guidance He gives to us personally when He prohibits Paul from preaching the gospel in the province of Asia (Acts 16:6).

The Bible is a collection of stories and spiritual revelations from God to men, written down for our benefit. The God who spoke to them can still speak to us. I fully believe that we must not add to the Bible, but we are called to pray daily to the Father for His guidance (Thessalonians 5:16-18), not just for our lives, but also for the lives of our children and grandchildren. The relationship we seek to have with them is quite similar to the relationship He seeks to have with us. When we have questions, and we can’t interpret an answer, we seek the Father through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit to bring us the answers we need – answers that are in line with the Scriptures He has already given, the giftings that we have, and the personal knowledge that He gives to us in our time with Him. Our children are no different.

I fully believe the heart of the Father is overjoyed when we give to our children and grandchildren in the same manner that He gives to us.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Picture this if you will:

Picture this if you will:

Our children come to us curious or confused, seeking answers to questions they may not even know how to ask. Maybe not so much questions about the principles or doctrines of faith, but questions about their daily decisions and choices they make as a child of Christ. As I mentioned before, it could be questions like, “I want to help the poor, but I don’t know how.” We hear this and realize that even though we have an opinion, we don’t always know the best answer. We know that the Word of God says it’s right to help the poor, but what’s the best way my five-year-old can do it? What makes them even ask this question? Maybe they saw something on television about giving to a needy child, or they noticed a homeless man standing on a corner with a sign. We listen to them say that their Sunday school teacher talked about Jesus helping the poor and they want to do the same. 

It’s at this point that we remember that Christianity is a relationship, rather than a religion, and we see an opening to teach children the importance of our personal relationship with Jesus. It’s here where we can humbly confess that we do not know what the best choice may be, and we can use this opportunity to teach them that there is a Father who knows the answer to every question they could think to ask. We can show them that we care by dedicating time to spend with them in finding the answer together. We can walk with them as they balance the questions they have with the multitude of answers that may be found while deciding what to do next. 

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Brooke Cagle

"This gives them the purpose to continue to read and study His Word..."

"This gives them the purpose to continue to read and study His Word..."

Answers for the choices we make in our service to Christ will not always seem obvious or clear, but this is where the child can learn to grow in their faith by maintaining a relationship with the Father through prayer. And this drives them to continue reading and studying His Word to see if what they believe He is speaking to them aligns with what He’s already said.

Your openness and trust let them know that they can come to you for guidance about the decision they have made. It may not be perfect, but it can be a beautiful time of growing together in faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

"...peace of mind for you and a powerful weapon for them."

"...peace of mind for you and a powerful weapon for them."

One day, maybe sooner than we think, they will stop asking us questions and will look to others to satisfy their curiosity. Taking the time in their younger years to be there for them, introducing them to the relationship that they can have with God, and showing them how to weigh out everything they hear with the Word of God, will give peace of mind to you and a powerful weapon to them. 

Richard Lee Sorensen is a happily married father of 7. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology – Christian Counseling from Liberty University and is a Certified Professional Life Coach from Light University. He helps people overcome the often emotionally overwhelming process of decluttering at Declutter Planning, and writes a blog with his oldest daughters at Fiction and Fatherhood.

Photo Credit: Pexels/Min An





Follow Crosswalk.com