I grew up in Sunday School. There I learned that Jesus said some pretty cool things about children. In Mark 10:15, He says, “Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (NIV).
And I remember learning the term “childlike faith,” by which was meant we were to trust God unquestioningly.
Fourteen years ago this month, I became a parent for the first time. Do you have children? Do you know children? Have you ever spoken to a child? Do you know what they do ALL DAY LONG?
From nearly the moment they can speak, children ask questions. Every day I hear from the mouths of my no-longer-so-little children, “Why?” And, “Would it be weird?” And “How about?” And “Can I?”
I’m beginning to think I misunderstood. I don’t think Jesus was talking about blind obedience or unwavering trust.
Instead, I think He was inviting us to ask questions. A lot of questions.
Maybe, like me, you were raised in a faith tradition that didn’t encourage questioning. Perhaps, as I did, you grew up believing that the most important thing in being a person of faith was to believe wholeheartedly, without questioning the authority of your parents, teachers, and leaders.
As a mother, that idea certainly holds its appeal. If my kids would simply believe everything I told them and obey every instruction I issued without hesitation, life would be a lot more peaceful . . . for me.
But, for my kids, who live moment to moment with questions bubbling up inside their little hearts? Not so much.
One song I love is called “Big Enough” by Chris Rice. In the chorus, he sings:
God if You’re there I wish You’d show me
And God if You care then I need You to know me
I hope You don’t mind me askin’ the questions
But I figure You’re big enough
This is the image I now have of God: big enough to handle every one of my doubts, my fears, my questions and loving enough to hear me out, no matter what I ask or feel or believe.