God instructed the Israelites how to answer the spiritual questions of their children. In Exodus 13:14, we read, “And when in time to come your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall say to him, ‘By a strong hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.” Similar instructions regarding the answers to children’s questions are recorded in Deuteronomy 6:20 and Joshua 4:6 and 4:20. We must always take the questions of our children seriously.

According to Our Daily Bread, “Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy told of an aunt who hurt him deeply when she didn’t take time to answer some questions that were troubling him. She stirred his emotions by telling him of Jesus’ crucifixion, but when he cried out, ‘Auntie, why did they torture Him?’ she said simply, ‘They were wicked.’ ‘But wasn’t He God?’ Tolstoy asked. Instead of explaining that Jesus was indeed God, that He had become a man so He could die for our sins, she said, ‘Be still—it is 9 o’clock!’ When he persisted, she retorted, ‘Be quiet, I say, I’m going to the dining room to have tea.’ This left young Tolstoy greatly agitated.” When Calvin Miller commented on this scene he added, “Tolstoy found it incomprehensible that Christ had been brutalized and his aunt was not interested enough to stay a little past teatime and talk about it.”

At our staff meeting this last week we discussed the difference between production and process. Jesus taught us more about the process than about the product. It was agreed upon by us all that when Clay said it’s much easier for him to pick up his daughter’s toys than to sit with her and teach her how to do it, we all shook our heads in the affirmative because we all know how often it’s much easier to do something just to get it done or to fulfill our agenda. But the process of making disciples of our children (and anyone!) requires patience, reprioritizing the experience, focusing on the calling of Christ in training others, and realizing that people are much more important than products. Reprioritizing our lives is always a challenge. Dr. Richard Halverson, Chaplain for the United States Senate, taught about the revolutionary concept of reprioritizing your life. He said, “First comes your commitment to Jesus Christ; second your commitment to your marriage partner; third, your commitment to your children; and fourth, your commitment to your work.”