How to Answer the ‘Why?’

Our oldest daughter, from the time she could speak, has been asking the constant question, “Why?”    By asking ‘Why?’, she shows great curiosity about how the world around her works and it is exciting as she is wanting to learn new things.   Over the years, she has continued to ask ‘Why?’ — about everything!  We have tried many different approaches when answering her age old question. 

a)  Give her the answer to her why.    (Exp.  Why does Daddy mow the grass?  Answer:  The grass continues to grow, just like your hair and your nails, and it needs to be cut shorter from time to time.)

b)  Be honest and tell her “I don’t know.  We’ll have to see if we can find out.”

c)  Answer with a question to try to help her think through it on her own.  “Why do you think _____?”

d)  Tell her to stop asking ‘Why?’ so much.   Okay, I know this one isn’t so good, but at the end of a long day, after hearing the ‘Why?’ for the millionth time, we really do say this =)

e)  Because we said so.     Now, we have noticed, that as she has grown older, the ‘Why?’ has taken a twist.  Sometimes, the ‘Why?’ shows up after we have given her an instruction.  Now, this could be simple curiosity and we may answer her as to why we chose that particular instruction so she can see our good intentions for her (safety, nutrition, etc.).  But, if she continues to ask, it has turned into her questioning our authority as her parents and a distrust of our decision — and she must be disciplined.   As I write this, I am asking myself, ‘Do I ever exhibit this questioning attitude towards God?  Do I ever question His goodness and wonder if He truly has the best intentions for me in the instructions and commands He gives?’  If I am honest, I must confess that yes, I am like my daughter, and I am also like Eve who in the garden questioned God’s command to not eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Oh, Lord, help me to obey You wholeheartedly, to trust you more and more, and to say ‘Yes, Lord’, honoring You, instead of asking why.


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