A Question From a Seven-Year-Old


One Friday night, I answered the phone, and my seven-year-old niece was on the other end of the line. She then began to ask me a theological question I had never been asked in my 40-plus years of ministry. A theological question from a seven-year-old? Now that was something I was never expecting. In fact, it’s a question I’d never asked myself and have never been asked by an adult, mainly because the answer is obvious to an adult, but it was a very logical question for a seven-year-old to ask.

“Uncle Danny,” she asked, “If the Bible says that brothers and sisters are not supposed to get married, how can brothers and sisters at church get married?” You must admit that for a seven-year-old to come up with such a question, it had to have her mind click on things she had heard at church and home. However, no one knew how she came up with this particular question.

As adults, many of us don’t think that deeply when it comes to Bible study. We rush quickly through our reading, hardly pausing to take in what God’s Word is trying to tell us, much less ask ourselves questions about what we read. I don’t know if it’s an “I don’t care” or just a “I never thought of that” attitude. However, questions often go unasked, and we often go through life never knowing the answers.

As we study and ask ourselves questions, we’ll get much more value from our time in the Word. What it does is cause us to research and seek out answers, and this, in turn, deepens our faith. The “whys” and “how comes” are what can spark us to delve deeper into the Words of God.

By asking questions, I discovered that Noah was still alive for the first 50 years of Abraham’s life. Wow, just imagine being able to sit at the feet of the man whose story you had heard over and over. By asking questions, we learn that when we talk about Jesus bearing the cross, it’s not the physical wooden cross but the burden of sin that he carries for us all. We learn by asking questions in our study.

A small child will ask you a thousand “whys,” trying to quench their thirst to know. In the words of Jesus, “So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given unto you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you.” If you never ask questions, you’ll never know the lessons you’ll learn by knowing the answers.

So I received a theological question from a seven-year-old. How do you explain it so she understands the answer? The simple answer is that brothers and sisters with the same grandparents cannot marry; otherwise, it’s okay. This may not be a good answer and didn’t completely answer her question, but I hoped it would suffice until she turned eight.

Danny Minton is a former Elder and minister at Southern Hills Church of Christ

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