Renee has one of these freakish cats that have no hair. It’s a long story of how I told her we would never have one of those cats because they cost money and how I told her many times, “I’m not paying money for a cat.” Short back story: She found a loop-hole in what I said. We did not pay for this poor, hairless cat. We did however have to drive over 600 miles and spend money on a motel room. All in all, I paid for a hairless cat.
But that’s not the point here. Hairless or full of hair, cats are known for their curiosity. It’s normal for a cat to explore and even question what something is.
That’s the long way around to this; The world around us becomes familiar and commonplace to us as we age and grow to love our “creature comforts”. But the world is nearly an exhaustless wonder to children whose minds are alert and curious. As a matter of fact, a child that asks no questions, is no normal child. Questions even seem to be signs of mental health and normal activity.
This curiosity is normal and even has a level of normal “innocence”. But don’t be fooled. This curiosity will quickly, if not already, begin to show itself in a small child as a craving to satisfy a sinful flesh.
A duty for a parent is to learn to encourage a curiosity of one kind and expose the curiosity of another kind for what it is.
The duty of a parent is to show a child that they have an inborn propensity for sin.
Encourage questions like;
- Where did I come from?
- Where am I going?
- What am I in this world for?
- How should I treat other people?
- What is my relationship to God?
- How will I overcome sin and temptation?
- How can I become more Christlike?
These and thousands upon thousands of other questions are natural questions for a young person to begin asking as they grow into young adulthood. And, I argue, are questions that should be answered. But more than just being answered, they should be taught how to answer these questions truthfully and biblically. Bad advice and counsel has wrecked many.
Parenting is no easy task. I don’t know of a parent who wishes they had not done some things differently. By the shear grace of God, parents actually do a lot of things right. But, don’t grow arrogant in thinking that there are things you have done as a parent that have not been helpful or will not be helpful if you continue in your own stubborn ways.
As a child grows they need parents who understand that their authority never diminishes, but does transform.
An infant is dependent upon a parent for every decision. But when a math equation is being worked on at age 16, that same child needs more to be taught how to discover the solution than to be told the solution. The authority of a parent remains constant while the duty is to largely teach a child to ask good questions and how to find truthful answers.
Dad and mom, are you as diligently preparing your children to know God as you are in the important matters of reading, math, science, writing?
An important thing I want to remind you of and warn you about is; Don’t forget that your child’s curiosity is not so innocent as they begin to search answers about sexuality and relationships. Be alert. Be on guard.
Be sure you are teaching your sons and daughters where to find truthful answers to their blooming spiritual curiosity. Make sure they understand that their emotional heart can not be trusted.
The best homes on earth are schools of continuing education, with lessons only being partially learned at times. It is important that careful attention is given to all lessons now (both secular and spiritual) because the opportunity to learn them will soon be gone.
It is no small thing that a serious misfortune would come upon your household as the graduates leave without mastering the lessons of most significance. What if they’ve not been trained to know what is sinful? What if they don’t know of the authority of God? What if God and his revelation (the Bible) is treated with such smallness and of no significance to know who God is? Their curiosity to know God will create a god that seems palatable to their undisciplined likes and dislikes.
A great need is needed among our young today. Who is teaching them to be self-disciplined? self-governed? all while submitting to the authority of God? God has established institutions for this; it’s your home and it’s your church.