Meet any 3-year-old, and you’ll quickly learn their favorite question—“Why?”
You’d think such a simple question would have an easy answer, but this isn’t always the case. How much more difficult are questions from adults about complex biblical truths and the mysterious ways of our great God?
Whether your primary ministry is small group leadership, discipling other women, meeting with unbelievers, or facilitating events within your church, rest assured, you will be asked some hard questions. How will you handle them? How can you keep God’s Word central and exercise wisdom as you do?
The hard questions our women ask challenge and encourage us to apply Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom.” Consider the following four steps, keeping this verse in mind:
Is this person genuinely curious, or do they want to stir conflict?
Your first step is to discern the motivation behind the question. While many hard questions will come from hearts of genuine curiosity, confusion, or conviction, some may cause conflict, whether the question-poser realizes it or not. As a leader, try to discern if the woman asking the question intends this, or if she’s unaware this could be the result.
Let’s say you lead a small group, and you’re discussing God’s plan for marriage according to Genesis 1 and Ephesians 4. One woman asks, “So do you think Christians who get legally married to a same-sex spouse go to hell?”
Before responding, exercise the “wisdom” of Colossians 3:16 and discern the heart behind her question:
- Does she have a family member or friend in this situation whom she loves and wants to see safe in Christ?
- Is she actually asking about the Bible’s authority on marriage?
- Or does she simply want to stir conflict within the group through a controversial topic?
If it’s conflict she’s seeking, it’s best to acknowledge her question for later discussion and move on from it. If it’s genuine curiosity, then feel the freedom to proceed to the next step.