Monday, October 19, 2009

UNDERSTANDING {the importance of understanding why}


We enjoy receiving e-mail questions about the “what” and the “whys” behind what we chose as a family. We enjoy it, in great measure, because we too have gained and continue to gain so much by talking through things and gleaning from others who have gone before us.

It is wise to think through convictions that may be different from our non-Christian backgrounds or our culturally influenced point of view.

When we sense that something is “off” it is good to pause, but it is even better to question and keep questioning until we arrive at Scripture to back up what we believe. It is critical to develop an understanding of what we are choosing and why.

Because if we don't do this work of gaining understanding we will soon simply let go of our convictions and go with the flow.

It is just easier. But easier rarely equals better. We must gain an understanding of our whys and then renew our minds with these reasons.

"My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,

and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."
~Proverbs 2:4-6


We must know why we are choosing what we are choosing in media and otherwise from God’s Word. As we continually gain understanding and renew our minds we are kept on course.

More quickly than we can believe, it is time to share that understanding with our children. Our goal, as our children mature, is to transition from discipline into a godly understanding.

“A rod is for is the back of him that is void of understanding.” Proverbs 10:13

While it is true that there will be times that we will have to tell our children that we cannot explain something to them at that moment, it should not be the norm. We should make it our habit explain ourselves. If we want to pass on our convictions and help our children from growing in bitterness towards us, we need to lovingly explain our “whys.”

Listen to this quote by Dr. S.M. Davis. He is speaking to the 13 year old, but of course we know that if we do not begin explaining ourselves at a much earlier age, by the time our child is 13, he will not have ears to hear. This word is for all of us.

“Your child’s getting older. He’s 13 now. He comes in and says to you, “I want to go to the skating rink Friday night.”

And you say, “No. You’re not going there.”

He says, “Why?”

“Because I said so, that’s why!”

“Now that might work for Friday night this year, but it probably won’t work for Friday night 5 or 10 years from now.

If you have a conviction about the music that will be played at the rink and the people who are going to be at the rink and the atmosphere that is created at the rink, then you better explain that carefully, and tenderly and lovingly with Scripture to back you up so this child has a basis for understanding not just what they are doing but why they are doing it.

Not only does that young man need to understand why for that particular decision, he’s also going to need those same principles, same beliefs and same convictions for a bunch of other decisions that he will need to make that you may not know anything about.”

SM DAVIS, How to Pass Convictions on to Your Children, Chapter 7

Understanding accomplishes many needful things, but one of its most important roles may be to strengthen us. As we are challenged and must seek God’s Truth, our understanding grows and our resolve is continually fortified. This is a good thing.

Understanding why we choose what we choose can make all the difference.


Photos: A day set aside to make caramel apples. We thought it would be fun to add more than just caramel to them~ and it was! The girls really enjoyed "decorating" them most of all. They were very yummy, very sticky and delightfully fall. : )


  1. Couldn't agree more. :) I find myself explaining the why's to our babies, and I just find they understand from such an early age! A good place to start.

    These photos are precious!! Those apples look so fun. Glad you are enjoying the Fall season, just as we are enjoying our Spring. :)

    Blessings Rebecca,
    Saminda xo

  2. Thanks! This is great wisdom. In order to put this into practice one will really have to be serious about knowing why he believes as he does, and memorizing the Scripture to back it up. I needed this reminder.

  3. Hi Saminda!

    So glad to hear this comes naturally for you. Do you find that explaining as you go lessens the "whys" being asked because they are gaining understanding as you go? I know some moms feel buried under the "whys." : )

    Hi Angie!

    Thank you! You know, it is a discipline we really have to work at here as well.

    I think Satan's most most deceptive tactic is to mix truth with a lie~ it goes down so much more easily that way. We have seen a lot of these situations recently. We are reminded that we will only continue to spot this if we know God's Word well. : )

    Many blessings,

  4. Beautiful RJ!
    Last night, Mike and I were talking about one of the kids transitioning into the adolescent 'why' stage. He wants to know why we choose just about everything. Not just our decscion's but the stuff we buy and the food we eat. He's analyzing, watching.
    Seek wisdom, apply understanding, find the knowledge of God.

  5. Thank you my friend.

    So true. Don't you love this stage when we can really reason together with our children?

    The other day we got out a white board and the concordance and started reasoning through a video, comparing it with God's Word. It was really exciting as the kids we up to the task and excited about applying the Scripture they know. : )

    Love you!

  6. So so so so good! Love this truth! I think that answer, "Because I said so." is such a lazy! It's lazy parenting, and I have done it! Thankyou for this beautiful reminder...

    Hugs... Amy

  7. Another convicting post Rebecca! I find it difficult to explain some of the reasons we think a certain way or do/not do certain things. Perhaps this is because we are new to it or because it was always that way and so I've never thought of it. However, as my girls are getting older and soon my boy and youngest girl...I know that we must have a solid understanding and be comfortable in explaining it to them.

    I think I'll share this post with my hubby.

    Lots of love,

  8. Hi Amy!

    We've all done it!

    I think you are right, it can certainly be lazy parenting. But I wonder if this also happens when we are unsure if the "whys" are coming from a sincere desire to gain understanding or if they are a challenge to our authority. I think when we fear they are challenging us it is easy to respond back, "Because I told you so!" as well. : )

    Don't you love how Dr. S.M. Davis emphasizes gentleness in our instruction and response? I really appreciate when I hear that 'come along spirit' that doesn't start an all out war with mom and kids on opposing sides.

    Hi Sommer!

    Thank you dear one. And, we have to tweak things here and there as new things arise, but for the rules in our homes it is good for our children to see us going to God's Word and finding the answers there, amen?

    I am 100% behind first time obedience. That must happen at the earliest ages, but I also love the idea that we make our goal beyond that the transfer of understanding. : )


  9. Yes Rebecca, I definitely find the children ask why less as they gain understanding. Often they just look at me, and know, and get it without a word being spoken - I love that. I feel our family culture growing as we all learn and strive for His wisdom together. Exciting!

    Saminda xo

  10. Hi Rebecca, I thought of you when I read these scriptures:

    "He will bless those who fear the Lord, Both small and great. May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

    Psalm 115: 13-15


  11. Thanks Saminda. I appreciate your sharing that. : )

  12. Dear Cathy,

    Thank you so much for that. What a precious encouragement. It seems in answer to my very prayer this morning.

    You are a blessing friend.

    With love,

  13. Hi Lauren,

    I mistakenly deleted your comment. Thank you so much for your sweet note.


  14. Mrs. Rebecca. I am sorry that I am writing to you through a post but I have tried several times to do the "email" and my outlook won't let me email you.
    First I would like to tell you that I really enjoy your blog. I soak in all the beautiful pictures and all the Godly counsil.
    Secondly, I would like to know if you could post how you use the Spell,Write to Read curriculum with your girls. I saw that you use it in one oof your post. _thanks Cara

  15. Hello Cara!

    Thanks so much for your note! I am sorry the link is not working for you. My direct address is:

    Sure! I can do a post on SWR soon- the Lord willing!

    Blessings to you!