Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


My oldest son, TJ and I are meeting on Thursday after school/early evening to read the gospel of Luke together. We’re like 4ish meetings into it. He gets a caramel apple cider from Starbucks. I get a hazelnut americano. We pick a table. He reads- cuz the kid LOVES to read. I stop him every once in a while to ask him what he read, why Luke recorded it like that, and what it means and stuff.

Today, we were reading the story of Jesus’ Temptation. We talked about a lot of stuff, but after the Devil offers Jesus anything he wants in the world if he’d only worship the devil, I asked TJ this:

Can the Devil really give Jesus this world? Does he own it or does God?

That started this exchange:

TJ: Um, no, God is in charge.

Me: Are you sure?


Then how come some people do bad things?

You mean like the kid who put graffiti all over the boys bathroom at school?

Yeah, like that. Was that something that serves God or that God did?


Oh… so then God’s not in charge of all things in this world?

(TJ looks really confused at me here)

(I’m kinda stuck myself… I’ve asked a question I don’t really know how to explain to a 9 year old. I’m asking God, how am I going to explain the dichotomy in Scripture that God is more powerful that the devil, but allows a measure of autonomy to him in this world? I’m not even sure I understand this) So I tried this:

Who is in charge of your room?

Um, I am.

Well, what if you wanted to put a big hole in the wall so you could spy on people in the park? Could you do that?


Why not?

Cause you wouldn’t let me.

But I thought you were in charge of your room?

Well, no. You and Mom are.

Well, which is it?

Both I guess. (eyes look up and he smiles) Oh.. I get it. Like God is really in charge but he sorta let’s the devil have his way sometimes, even though ultimately God is in charge. Kinda like you and mom let me make some choices in my room like where I keep my toys and stuff, but really, I can only do what you let me- cuz it’s your house.

Right. (I think)

Phew…. wrestling with theology with my kid scares me. I hope I don’t screw him up too bad.

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