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Why?

Before the kids were born, there are some things I promised that I'd never say to them. But now I open my mouth and hear my parents speaking.

"Eat your green beans or you won't get any dessert."

"Have you cleaned your room?"

"I'm sorry, but I don't have time to play with you."

Have you seen those airplane disaster movies where the pilot is incapacitated and the flight attendant asks the passengers if anyone on board can fly the plane? Well, if no one else volunteered, I'd do it. Do I know how to fly? No, but I'm a take charge, land the plane kind of guy. Not many challenges paralyze me.

Then why do I feel so inadequate when it comes to parenting? I knew I'd be a better parent than my Mom and Dad, but that all changed with the birth of our sons. I now think they were the best parents in the world and call them for advise on raising the boys. In fact, I'm open for help from anyone.

There is a question I'd like help with. What do you say when your kids ask the terrifying one word question: "Why?" The answer "because I'm the Dad and I said so" is the stock reply, but can you think of a better one? I've tried "why not," but their inevitable answer "because" defies any intelligent response.

Perhaps, the stock answer isn't so bad after all. It is the best reply generations of parental wisdom has produced so far. Maybe it is like requiring your children to eat green beans before they eat chocolate cake, or making sure they learn to clean their room.

Job asked God the "Why" question. "Because I'm God and I said so" is a pretty good paraphrase of God's reply to him.

"Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. 5Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? 6What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone 7as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?

8"Who defined the boundaries of the sea as it burst from the womb, 9and as I clothed it with clouds and thick darkness? 10For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores." (Job 38:4-10 NLT)

Parents know what is best for their children and God knows what is best for us. Have you ever noticed that it is easier to question authority than to follow it? Why is that?


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