What happens if we’re bad?
My youngest son, Ryland, is at that age (eight) when he still asks a lot of questions. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I like answering my children’s questions as honestly as I could. You may think that they are just innocent questions that need simple answers but I sometimes find myself fumbling for the right words to say.
Here is another conversation I had with him a few months ago, around the time when he just had his First Reconciliation (Confession). As usual, I was in the boys’ room helping him get ready for bed.
Him: Mommy, what is the name of the snake in that garden?
Me: You mean the one where Adam and Eve were?
Me: Satan. He’s the devil.
Him: Where is he? Is he in hell?
Me: Yeah. But actually he’s also everywhere. Like God is everywhere.
Him: What does he do?
Me: He makes us do bad things.
Me: Well, he tells our conscience to do bad things.
Him: What does that mean?
Me: He’ll whisper in your ear and makes you do bad things.
Him: Like, Ryland kill your mommy.
(Then he realized what he just said.)
Him: I’m scared.
Me: That’s why you pray at night. What do you always pray at night?
Him: Dear God, please make me a good boy always.
Here’s a continuation of that conversation.
Him: If you kill somebody, will you go to hell?
Me: Maybe not, if you’re really, really sorry about it and confess your sin.
Him: Where is hell? Is it under the ground and has fires?
Me: I don’t really know if that’s true. But I know that we don’t want to be in that place.
Him: What about soldiers? They kill people. Will they go to hell?
Me: See, that’s like a tricky question. They’re defending their country, but they kill people. I think if they are sorry afterwards, they won’t go to hell.
How would you have answered these questions?
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