Spunky is talking about my question of the other day. She broadens it to a question of talking to our children about tough topics in general, and the importance of "being there" to capture questions immediately. I wholeheartedly agree with her thesis. We should be talking to our children when they ask tough questions. If we don't answer them, who will?
Honestly, I don't trust many people to answer such questions on my behalf. Color me cynical, but there are few people out there who grasp the nuances of our family's approach to Santa Claus, let alone hell. And I'm very sure I don't want the girls learning about sex from friends (or, "friends.")
God gave us the responsibility of raising our children, and we cannot abandon them when they have questions, even if the questions are tough. In this area, prayer for discernment helps. But what also helps is praying that when the tough questions come to their minds, our children would seek us out first. That takes trust on their part - and even for our children we need to help them build that trust. When we blow them off, we're blowing them towards those "friends" and people who don't share our core values.
Answer the tough questions, and be there.
Which leads me to a clarification of sorts. My original intent in regards to the hell question was whether/where/when we should be the ones broaching the subject. So yes, answer the question when it comes up. But when they're not asking, do we still tell them about hell? Or do we wait for the question?