Today we come back to our normal Marriage Monday schedule to finish up the idea of growing together spiritually. This final discussion centers around an aspect of marital spiritual growth we rarely consider: the curiosity of our children.
Any parent knows that children ask questions. Children are curious. And they are sponges. They want to know anything and everything, and often their questions can leave us scratching our heads – if not outright cringing!
Many times we dread the inevitable questions we know will come from our children. But, the very questions we dread could actually introduce relationship-growing conversations.
How is that possible? Consider these ideas:
- Answering our children’s questions solidifies our own spiritual growth. When we teach others what we have learned, our learning is enhanced, every time. When we learn jointly with our spouses first, then teach our children together, our joint learning is enhanced.
- Their questions insist that we be on the same page as a couple and as parents. We need to be unified in our responses to tough questions from the kids. Discussing these questions together, and then answering our children together, ensures that we are in agreement and that our children see us as unified.
- Our responses may open the door to more spiritual discussion. When our children ask us questions, we often have to hash out thoughts we never have considered before.
But, what are some practical ways to make this happen?
Questions from our kids can blindside us on many occasions. How do we ensure that we are prepared for the questions they ask? And how do we ensure that we’re on the same page when we answer?
- Set aside a time for regular discussion. This could be daily over a meal or weekly after church, but ensure that it is a regular time when both you and your spouse can be a part of the discussion. Encourage your children to share with you what they’re learning through their daily Bible reading or what they have heard in a Sunday school lesson or sermon. Ask them questions and encourage them to ask about things they don’t understand. Having this controlled, scheduled time will encourage many questions to come at a time when you are mentally prepared to receive and discuss them – even if you don’t know what questions will be asked. It will also ensure that you and your spouse are present to discuss and respond.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out!” It is perfectly acceptable for your children to realize that you don’t know everything. Saying this also gives you a chance to pull back and talk it out with your spouse – again, putting you on the same page.
- Consider expected questions in advance. You know they’re coming. So, why not prepare yourself? Talk to your spouse now, actively considering how you will handle questions about tough issues like sin, death, the character of God, various moral issues, sex, etc. You cannot cover every question your children will ask, but you can get a head start and enjoy the side benefit of already solidifying your unity with your spouse.
How have your children helped you and your spouse grow spiritually lately?