Why Do Bad Things Happen?

For Episode 011...

Micah Fries joins us to help us understand why there are kids who go to bed hungry at night, why earthquakes or tornados destroy entire towns, and why we face hard times that seem to be too much to bear. In this episode we talk about how sin has invaded every piece of life on earth, how we shouldn't sanitize Bible stories, and how we can parent kids who love God's Word.

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering Why Do Bad Things Happen? on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Micah Fries is the Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. He and his wife, Tracy, have three super fun kids. He has written a few books including Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, and he has a book coming with B&H Academic soon called Islam and North America: Loving our Muslim Neighbors. Micah is also the co-host of the @ESTChurch podcast. 

I asked: 

Where has your favorite place been to travel?

The mountains of Lesotho in South Africa. It is the only country in Africa that has annual snowfall. Nepal is also unbelievably beautiful.

Big question: Why Do Bad Things Happen?

We want our kids to have a strong understanding of sin. Sin has broken all things - both individually and globally. Sin invades every corner of every cellular structure on the planet - humanity, grass, trees. The created order longs for restoration, and one day Jesus will restore all things.

And when we say, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"
RC Sproul addresses this, "Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered.”

Feature Resource

Here are the books in The Big Picture Interactive Brand. We use the Old Testament and New Testament board books for  our toddlers and they carry them around all the time, attempting to tell anyone who will listen the stories found inside.

How do we encourage our kids to love God's Word?

Mom and Dad need to love God's Word. Discipline is important, but not the fundamental foundation of our faith. That we love Jesus and God's Word is foundational. It cannot be a duty, we need to have a love for the Word. 

Find resources that your kids love that will make your kids love God's Word. If you kid is artistic, get them a coloring devotional Bible. Throw as many darts at the wall and see if any of them stick. 

Where should you start reading the Bible with kids? 

The Old Testament is a great place to start. No book in the world rivals the stories found in the Bible. We have to make them exciting for kids and read them as if we've never read them before, experiencing them through the eyes of our kids.

How Can God Be Three In One?

For Episode 002...

Micah Fries joins us to help us understand how we can best talk to our kids about the Trinity. Helping kids understand this truth is so important - that kids understand that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are One. It would be easy to move into believing that we actually serve three Gods (tritheism) or to believe that God is One, acting in three different ways (modalism). Either of these take us to a place we don't want to be - so how do we explain that God is three Persons? Micah is here to help us. 

You can listen to the Questions Kids Ask episode answering How Can God Be Three In One? (Questions About the Trinity) on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, or listen below.

Micah Fries is the Senior Pastor at Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. He and his wife, Tracy, have three super fun kids. He has written a few books including Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, and he has a book coming with B&H Academic soon called Islam and North America: Loving our Muslim Neighbors. Micah is also the co-host of the @ESTChurch podcast. 

To start us off, Micah shared what the most difficult part of being a dad has been. He mentioned the process of adoption, which was absolutely grueling, and we'll talk a little more about in another episode, but we talked most about walking with our kids through death - particularly that of grandparents. I haven't walked through this yet, but I know it has to be one the absolute hardest things about parenting and life in general - trying to walk through grief in a way that honors the Lord ourselves, and also with our kids.

Big question: How can God be three in One?

Are there helpful analogies?
Micah helps us understand that all analogies that help us get closer are helpful analogies. Of course, there is no such thing as a one to one analogy. So every analogy that we have is going to be limited. They don’t completely get at it, but it’s okay because we’re never going to get there. If you think you understand it, then you are wrong.

And I want a God that I cannot fundamentally completely understand.
If we could fully understand Him, then wouldn’t He just be a bigger version of me?
I want a God that is beyond my comprehension, and that’s exactly who He is.
Two things to remember:
1.     Any analogy that helps to get us closer to understanding is a good analogy.
2.     Mystery is your friend and it is okay to say that you don’t fully get it and it’s okay if they don’t either.

One good analogy is just like a three-in-one soap that includes shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all in one. Three Persons. One God.

Kids also take so much on faith and are comfortable with mystery. More than half of a kids’ world is mystery. How do airplanes fly? How do cars move? The mystery of the Trinity can be similar.

Featured Resource:

Want a commentary that doesn’t feel like an academic textbook? And couldn’t the minor prophets use a little more attention anyway?

Final question:

What habits can we implement to continue to grow and glean from God’s Word?
Micah reminded us of the "normal" answers (have a quiet time, spend time in the Word, memorize Scripture…), but also shared about the importance of music as a part of our spiritual development. 

Micah said, "The most influential theologians in my life are now creatives – especially musicians. Music stirs the heart and mind in a way that the spoken word cannot. Thoughtful musicians who try to communicate the Word in a fresh, powerful way are a great way for me to study anew passages. (Andrew Peterson is a great example, and I would Keith + Kristyn Getty as well.)

So - daily quiet time, podcasts, and all of those "normal" things...yes.
But what are some other ways that stir your heart and emotions?

We also talked about The Greatest Showman, so you don’t want to miss that.
Here's the YouTube video we mention. It's a fantastic movie that reminds us to celebrate the differences of people, to value all, to never let our dreams become more important than the relationships that God has entrusted to us, and is just an example of heart-felt, stirring music. I mean, in the video here, Hugh Jackman literally sung stitches out from a major surgery and had to have them redone. Music can move the soul. 

We are wired for worship.

God designed us that way – for passionate, heart-felt body and soul moving worship. It’s how God made us. Music that is rooted in Scripture and theologically significant matters because it takes God’s word and stirs heart and affection and mind all at the same time.