Children have a knack for asking difficult questions. If you have children, you can be certain they will—at some point—ask a question you can’t answer. This does not mean you have failed as a parent. Rather, these moments are an opportunity to lead by example and model for your children the process of humbly searching for answers.
It must not go without saying that the Bible is the only infallible source of truth, and we want our answers to flow directly from the revealed Word of God. In a perfect world, our quest for answers would begin and end with the plain text of Scripture every time. However, in certain circumstances, Scripture may be difficult to interpret or intentionally silent. In these situations, we have many useful resources at our disposal to help us.
If you need help interpreting Scripture, one of the best places to start is a good study bible. I can recommend Crossway’s ESV Study Bible for its in-depth yet highly accessible information. In my experience, many questions of interpretation can be answered with nothing more than an excellent study bible like this. If you prefer to use a different translation, many others have their own excellent study bibles as well.
Commentaries and Books
When you need extra help interpreting Scripture, commentaries can be a helpful resource. These are often written with a particular audience in mind—some are more technical (for scholars and preachers) while others are more accessible and designed for everyday use. I recommend using a website like bestcommentaries.com to search for commentaries written with your intended purpose in mind.
We also have access to a wide variety of books written about particular topics. Often, it can be helpful to consult a book about systematic theology, and I can recommend Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem as a good starting point. I can also recommend the ever-expanding 40 Questions and Answers series (which includes books like 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law and 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution, to name a few.)
One of the great benefits of the digital age is the variety of helpful (and free!) electronic resources at our disposal. Gotquestions.org is specifically designed to answer difficult questions, and it provides Scripture references and recommended resources for further study. In addition, many groups such as Desiring God, Ligonier Ministries, The Gospel Coalition, and Tim Challies provide faithful and biblical content in a variety of forms. Chances are—between these four groups alone—you will be able to find an article, video, or podcast about your specific question with nothing more than a quick Google search!
If your children ask difficult questions, be comforted in the knowledge that you are not alone! As you humbly search for answers, you lead by example and model for them a process by which they themselves can search for answers when difficult questions come their way—even long after you can be there to provide the answers for them.
All the best,
Missional Action Plan: Are you searching for answers to difficult questions right now? Consider how one of these resources might help you discover those answers.
Missional Action Prayer: Lord, thank you for the wonderful resources you have provided to help your people answer difficult questions. Help me not fear in the face of difficult questions, but help me humbly and confidently seek answers from your Word, in Jesus’ name, amen.