All kids go through stages of asking the question, “Why?” On occasion, kids ask because they genuinely want an answer to something they do not understand. Lots of the time I think kids ask to see their parents give long elaborate answers – a diabolical form of kid entertainment. Parents, trust me, they are not listening and don’t care! Once your cuties, hit the teen years they usually only ask the “why” question in response to some parental ruling they disagree with – they are looking for an argument, they have reached the pinnacle of the puppet-master years and love to make parents tap dance.
In parenting my own kids, I was a big proponent of the 1 2 3 Magic system of parenting taught by Dr. Thomas Phelan, Ph.D. One thing he teaches is that parents have a faulty assumption about kids; Phelan calls it “The Little Adult” Assumption. I see parents doing this all the time, especially when little Seymour is having a major melt-down in the candy aisle. Parents assume kids are just small adults who will respond to logical explanations so parents attempt to talk and reason with their disobedient darlings. Wrong! Kids are crazy monsters and no amount of reasonable and logical explanation and discussion will convince them to obey. You go, Dr. Phelan – preach it!
In the book of Leviticus, God is giving Moses His instructions for life and worship and in chapters 19 and 20 God shares His reasons for these instructions not once or twice but 20 times in some variation:
- You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy.
- I am the Lord your God.
- I am the Lord.
God knows that He is giving these instructions to children, the Israelites needed to be taught who God was as well as His expectations for them. I am just as child-like as the Israelites, I need to be taught how to worship, taught who God is, taught how to be holy. I am even more inclined to ask, “Why?” than the Israelites since I live in the age where knowledge without wisdom and science is god (small ‘g’, god) and in a democratic world where self-determination, self-motivation, self-satisfaction and Self is idolized. God, demonstrating His perfect parenting skills and avoiding “The Little Adult Assumption”, is not obligated to explain Himself or His rules and He expects obedience. Life is not “all about me” but all about God.
God’s answer when I am tempted? “You shall be holy for I the Lord am holy.”
God’s answer when I want to disobey? “I am the Lord your God.”
God’s answer when I defiantly rebel? “I am the Lord.”
No other answer, no other explanation is needed. To live a life of holiness and true worship, obey God; simple but not easy.