Why do dogs chase cats? Why is that lady so fat? Why are you humming? Why do I have to eat that? Children nearly drive us crazy with all their questions, especially the “why” question.

            As they get older, their questions begin to turn to spiritual things. Why do I have to go to church? Why do we need to read the Bible every day? Why do we pray if God already knows everything? If God loves everybody, why are some people starving? Why are we Christians, not Buddhists or Muslims?

            Children are insatiably curious. That’s how they learn. In turn, their questions help us solidify our own beliefs. They provide us with opportunities to examine ourselves and why we believe as we do. We may even begin to question some things that were part of our lives growing up.

            I’m impressed with parents of this generation who are raising their children to, not just accept, but explore their beliefs. Many of them refused to adopt their parents’ faith until working through their own doubts. They take this proven faith and purposefully pass it on to their children.


           My daughter’s conversation with another young mom last year, just before Halloween, is a case in point. She shared why she and her husband have decided not to celebrate this popular holiday. My daughter quoted some thoughts from my book, Taking Back October.* When she did, her friend lit up.

            “That’s exactly what we’ve been talking about!” she said. “My husband and I grew up celebrating Halloween, but now we’re realizing we need to rethink this. We’ve started talking with our kids about the origin of each holiday as they come.

            “At Christmas, we fill stockings and enjoy Santa Claus. But we also tell them how the real St. Nicholas gave to people because he loved Jesus, and that Jesus is the reason for the season. We focus on His resurrection at Easter. And even Valentines and St. Patrick’s Day have godly roots.

            So this year I thought we should start telling our kids why we celebrate Halloween. But then I thought, Why do we celebrate Halloween? We’ve decided this isn’t a tradition we want to pass on to our children.”

            What a great example she and her husband are, of actively teaching their children about God in daily life! The Message paraphrase says it this way: “Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night” (Deut. 6: 5-9).

            In my next post of this series, I’d like to share my story with you – what prompted me to give up one of my favorite holidays, and start new, God-honoring traditions with my children. In part three, you’ll hear from today’s young parents, who are teaching their kids what it means to put God first every day of the year.

*Taking Back October is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Back-October-Believers-Pursuit/dp/1502516292/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1440009808&sr=8-1&keywords=Taking+Back+October

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