I sat down the morning after Asher’s 5th birthday with coffee in hand. He had a birthday party over the weekend. His birthday was on a Monday, though, so Shay and I took him to the movies to celebrate. We watched Sing 2. He’s seen it a half dozen times already but that is what he chose. We were the only ones in the whole theater, too, because it was a Monday afternoon. In the middle of one of the songs, Asher turned to me and asked…”But mama? Why does it say there are bad things in the world?”. It took a moment for me to realize he was referring to a lyric in the song. I’m not the best at correctly hearing song lyrics so the fact that his little 5 year old ears picked up this bit surprised me. It shouldn’t have, though. Children do that. They pick up what we think they don’t and they ask questions we never would.
I almost cried right there on the spot because this was the thing I’d spent the whole day dwelling on. Five years. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a shift. The year they enter school. The year they are exposed to SO much more. The year the world’s voice gets louder. All these things were fresh on my mind when he asked it. A question that will be the forerunner to all other questions about the world and our God who holds it all.
Thankfully, he turned his attention back to the movie rather than expecting an answer right there. But, the truth of it remains. It has started. The really in depth part of parenting that isn’t about just keeping them happy and healthy. Later that night, I told Shay what he had asked. We watched old video clips of the last 5 years with our sweet baby turned boy. We cried at the seasons behind and before us. Then, we cried even harder when we heard a line in a show we were watching. In the show, the mother looks into the hopeful yet defiant face of her daughter and, with tear filled eyes, says “Just once I’d love to see the world through your eyes. One day you’ll see it through mine though and it breaks my heart”. I mean. I can hardly say it now without crying. It wrecked us. The truth of it is their innocence will eventually wear away. Enough life will do that. But there is a fine and delicate balance to life. The trick is to meet life’s experience with God’s perspective.
That’s what I find so beautiful about the Bible. It is our foundation to stand on. Not only is the Bible full of Truth, but it is full of examples. And who better to learn from than the men and women who stood before us? Unexpectedly called and chosen by God to do things they could never do in their own power. Yes, it was a different time and culture and world… but the condition of humanity has been the same since the fall of man. All broken. All searching for meaning. All ultimately longing for something that brings wholeness, healing, and divine purpose. And that something is found in a relationship with God.
So, when my five year old begins to recognize the brokenness and asks the questions… I’ll turn to my foundation to start building his. And when he turns into a young man who questions more and more, I’ll keep pouring in and pointing towards the One who gives us truth to stand on. I’ll read The Word over his life and declare Truth in the face of the unexpected questions. The Bible is the living breathing answer to questions bout right and wrong. The Bible tells us who we are. The Bible tells us what God says about us. It is our jobs as parents and mentors to fortify our own foundations so we can lay the groundwork for the generations to come..
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