Monday, May 3, 2010

Enchanted with Questions

There is a pattern I have come to recognize with how God handles his children.  I will give you a few examples.  After the whole apple in the garden episode, the two darlings were hiding-- you know the story.  Now this is just a hunch but I suspect that God is REALLY good at hide-and-seek!  Nevertheless, being the gentleman and wise parent, he asks, "Where are you?"  He is giving them an opportunity to show themselves instead of an 'aha-gotcha!'  Next, he asks, "Who told you that you were naked?  Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"  Then asking Eve, "What is this you have done?"  He asks questions.  He gives them a chance to confess and explain, knowing the answers all the while.  Hmmm, that is a really great technique for parenting.  I tend to jump to conclusions or only have part of the information and fill in the unsaid parts.  Asking questions takes time.  Sometimes I just want the noise to stop and send everyone to their rooms, I don't even want information, I just want peace!
Another story I like is when Jesus is resurrected.  First, he appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb and asked, "Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?"  There He stands to comfort her and redirect her focus.  Doesn't that make you cry even more when someone asks, 'are you alright,' as your crying?  Asking is a gentle way of bridging communication and opening up the conversation (as long as it is not accusing and putting the other person on the defensive).  Next, I love the 2 guys walking 7 miles to Emmaus.  They were scratching their heads and discussing the crucifixion.  Jesus suddenly joins them and asks, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?"  Cleopas is like, 'Dude, like what planet have you been living on that you are the only one who doesn't know what just took place in Jerusalem?" (E.W. revised).  Jesus replies, "What things?"  His point of view is so far greater than ours.  These guys are staring at the circumstances and not wrestling with the truth they had been told, by Jesus, about what to expect next.  Answering questions help us to articulate our thoughts and feelings. 
Be prepared in that sometimes when you open with a question you might get more than you expected.  Asking a question like, "Is there anything you would like to tell me about _______." , you might be surprised about what comes out.  That is okay though; God says in his word that "You may be sure that your sin will find you out..."(Numbers 32:23).  So as a fellow warrior, pray that God would reveal all things in your children's lives, and that includes what they might be hiding or just keeping a secret.
I commit to this form of parenting.  I need to take the time to gather all the information in order to proceed with the next necessary steps.  There is always more than one side to a story, but in the end we always hold that story up to God's truth and let that be our guide.  Be quick to listen, slow to speak... I think I am getting the message Houston!!!  One mouth, two ears, do we really need a diagram?   SHHHEEESH!

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