How to deal with your child’s curiosity about knowing the existence of a God

Nathaniel and his mom waved at the image of a crucified Jesus inside the Basilica del Santo Nino Church in Cebu City, Philippines.

Young children are naturally curious. They want to know just about anything and that’s fine. But what if your child asks you something you don’t quite expect a young mind would come up with? Like, for example, your child is asking you on whether God exists or not.

How are you going to explain it to your child? Of course, you would be saying “yes, God exists.” But what if your child is not totally convince yet and, instead, wants you to explain further by asking: “If God exists, why does he allow suffering?”

I think it’s best to tell your child what you know about it, to the best of your ability, even if he or she may never come to understand it yet. But what if there’s no God? Would this affect the kind of parenting you’re now introducing to your child?

And if somebody’s going to ask you the same question, what should your answer be? If God exists, why does he allow suffering? You may try to reflect at my answer to such a question below, thus enjoy reading:

I have long ago dismissed the argument about whether God existed or not. I have read lots of atheistic writings from vocal and famous atheists and existentialists and the more that I read and internalized their works, the more I was plunged into the light of truth which further cemented my belief in a deity.

Back in college, a colleague of mine was trying to convince me, even to the point of lecturing me, about his newfound philosophy based upon the books he read. He quoted something from German philosopher Nietzsche’s existentialist book titled Thus Spoke Zarathustra, saying: “God is dead.” Having read about Marx’s stand on atheism, I simply told him that his claim was weak because to say that “God is dead” meaning to say he came to exist, although he’s dead.

I even instructed my colleague by saying: “This is how you should say it: ‘God did not exist.'” Of course, I lied to him, because deep in my heart I know there is God.

But, if God exists, why does he allow suffering? Is it wrong to ask why God allows all the troubles and sufferings in the world? The prophet Habakkuk had one time asked God: “Why do you make me witness wrongdoing? And why do you tolerate oppression? Why are destruction and violence before me? And why do quarreling and conflict abound?” (Habakkuk 1:3.)

But do we really have to blame God for all the suffering in the world? The Bible has the answer as it clearly states in 1st John chapter five, verse nineteen: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.”

This world was dominated and reflects the personality of the invisible spirit creature who is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” (Revelation chapter twelve, verse nine.) Satan is hateful, deceptive, and cruel. So the world, under his influence, is full of hatred, deceit, and cruelty. That is one reason why there is so much suffering.

It was very interesting how God handled rebellion in heaven long time ago. When Lucifer rebelled against God, and wanted to be like God, he allowed him to become how it would be like.

And when Satan, the Great Evil Beast, together with his minions, was cast down to the earth, and with the Fall of Man in Eden, God has allowed him to show how he would rule mankind. God has also allowed humans to govern themselves under Satan’s guidance.

But why has the Almighty Father allowed suffering to continue for so long and why has He not prevented such things as horrible crimes?

God has not helped Satan to rule this world. If God were to prevent horrible crimes, for instance, would he not, in effect, be supporting the case of the rebels? Would God not be making people think that perhaps humans can govern themselves without disastrous results? If God were to act in that way, he would become party to a lie. However, “it is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18.)

So what would God do about all the harm that has resulted from the rule of humans and the influence of Satan?

The effects of sin would be removed through faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice, and the effects of death would be reversed by means of the resurrection. God would so use Jesus, as what the Bible has told in 1st John chapter three, verse eight: “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

God would bring all of this about at just the right time. We can be glad that he has not acted sooner, for his patience, as could be read in 2nd Peter chapter three, verses nine to ten, has given us the opportunity to learn the truth and to serve him.

For the time being, to quote from the book of John chapter four, verse twenty-three, God has been actively seeking sincere worshipers and helping them to endure any suffering that may come upon them in this troubled world.

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