Chaplain Bill on Christian Parenting & Answering Our Child’s Innocent Theological Questions.

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This is Chaplain Bill’s space where he is able to articulate his views on theological, biblical, and philosophical matters. Chaplain Bill has also recently published his own book, Blue-Collar Believer, available in hard copy or for eBook purchase. Also visit his blogsite. The views expressed by Chaplain Bill, and other co-writers, are not necessarily the views of website owner, James Bishop.

Greetings again dear readers. I do apologize for my absence over the last few weeks as life has been a bit hectic for me lately. In my most recent article I wrote I focused my attention on my eight year old daughter. Not to sound repetitious, but the following article’s direction will be about a couple of conversations I had with her as well.

I thank James for letting me use the freedom I need in writing these articles. It is not only a pleasure, but an honor to do so, to share my life experiences on his blog, in hopes that it may help all who read our articles in whatever we write about. So, the last article and this one are focused in on “Christian parenting.” I do hope that what I share may indeed help you as a parent, or someone you know, and if it does, let me know!

I think it is extremely important to pray with our children. In fact, I take praying with my children so seriously that it has become a natural part of their lives. As Christian parents we must incorporate the natural with the supernatural because that is what being a Christian is all about!

I went so far as making a notebook for my daughter. She and I write our prayers in there every evening. My daughter’s name is “Chesney,” and we named the note book – “Chesney’s little book of Big Prayers.”

I could write an entire article about it, as she prays for each and every entry, and as time goes on, she crosses out each answered prayer request, and adds more. We both just sit back in admiration as we watch God work His majesty.

Anyhow, before prayer time the other night, she asked me a most interesting question. Coming from a beautiful and innocent, red-headed, and green eyed little girl, it just sounded so amazing!

She said, “Daddy, what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? I hear you talk about both of them all the time.

This was a question I felt was more appropriately addressed in a college level philosophy class! And here was my eight year old daughter asking me such an intellectual question. I also wanted to be careful in how I answered it, as well as try to remember that she was only eight.

In fact, it reminded me of a conversation that she and I had a while back. I wrote about this particular conversation in the book I wrote, Blue-Collar Believer. Before I share with you how I attempted to answer her surprisingly intellectually advanced question, I wish to share with our readers a previous conversation we had that this reminded me of from chapter 8 of my book (“Conversions” p. 149-152).

“One beautiful, hot summer day, I decided to take my three year-old daughter to the park near our house. We were walking on a trail that wrapped around a very small lake. At the time, we had her enrolled in a really nice Christian daycare, and how she loved to talk and hear about Jesus! She had such childlike faith and asked the most inquisitive questions! This really made me happy, and I could only hope that someday she would become a Christian.

As we were walking, taking in the beautiful scenery, watching people ride their bikes, walking, and sweating from the extremely hot sun, she looked up at me with her baby blue-greenish eyes and said, “Daddy, what is heaven like?”

I was a bit taken aback by her question and did not know what to say. It really caught me off -guard as we had just recently been talking about something entirely off the subject.

I wanted to make sure that as a Christian dad, I answered her questions to the best of my ability. I did not want her to grow up misguided about the Christian faith like so many other children who thought that angels looked like a little baby wearing diapers with cute white wings, playing a harp, and looking like cupid sitting on clouds in heaven. I wanted her faith to be directly from biblical teachings and Cupid certainly was not.

I thought about what 1 Corinthians 2: 9–10 tells us: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”

I knew that she would certainly not be able to grasp any concept of what heaven was like from that scripture, but after some quick thinking, I decided to go with my gut and draw an analogy from this scripture that a three-year-old may be able to understand.

I said, “Sweetie, this is a great question! Now what I want you to do is take a moment and answer the following questions. I’ll say them one by one, okay?”

She said, “Okay, Daddy.”

I said, “What is your favorite thing to smell?”

She said, “Hmmmn, I think that would be puppy breath!”

I said, “Oh, just like your mommy! Okay, now what is your favorite thing to touch? You know, like something that feels nice.”

She said, “A puppy’s hair because it feels so soft!”

I said, “Good one! They sure are soft! Okay, now what is your favorite thing to taste?”

She said, “That’s easy! Chocolate ice cream!”

I said, “Oh boy! That sure is yummy in your tummy! Now what is your favorite thing to look at?”

She said, “I guess princesses with their pretty dresses and tiaras!”

I said, “I think I knew you were going to say that! Okay, this is the last question. Now this may sound funny, but what is your favorite noise to hear?”

She said, “I guess really pretty music!”

I said, “That is great. Now I want you to stop and just close your eyes for a minute and no peeking! I want you to imagine a place where all of these things are going on at the same time and going on forever. Now what would you think of a place like that?”

She said, “Wow! That would be great, Daddy! Is that what heaven is going to be like?”

I said, “Nope. Heaven will be nothing like that.”

She looked at me with a very confused look on her face, and she said, “Huh?”

Patting her on her tiny head I said, “Heaven will be much better.”

You see, I really have no idea what heaven will actually be like. I can draw some context and parallels from the book of Revelation, but at the same time there are so many different ways to interpret them. I wanted to be as honest as I could with her, and I think I did just that. I left it in the hands of her five senses and imagination, knowing in all honesty that it truly was beyond our understanding.”

So, back to the question at hand: “Daddy, what is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

I responded, “Chesney, Knowledge is knowing what to do. Wisdom is knowing what to do and actually doing it. You can know everything about anything, but if you do not put your knowledge to use, then you are not wise. Does that make sense?

She said, “Yes.” And that was good enough for me at least until the next question comes. I really hope it isn’t the “Daddy, where do babies come from?” question. I may just tell her to ask her mother.

Until next time, God bless.

Chaplain’s Corner
William H Schnakenberg IV
“Chaplain Bill”
-Pastoral Apologist-
Blue Collar Believer


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