to kill a fly?

This past weekend we had our sons’ birthday party.  And because we had people constantly coming in and out (plus we wanted to capitalize on the breeze) we left the back door open for most of the day.  Which brought our uninvited guests.  Flies.

Now we all know how annoying a couple flies in the house can be.  Yeah, well try a few dozen.  Buzzing around your head, your food – everywhere.  So come Monday morning, my husband went on a rampage.  As we sat at the table eating breakfast, he went around swatting flies.  And keeping a death toll as he went along.

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Fast forward a couple hours.  Lennon is trying to watch a video and is being driven CRAZY by these little buzzers.  So he starts swatting away.  And gets one (or so he believes).  He was so proud of himself.  “I got my first fly!  I can’t wait to tell Daddy.  He will be so happy.  Daddy loves when I kill flies, right?”  No brainer.  Of course he does.  Why else would he have taken out a good half dozen or so before leaving for work?

But then came the question that stopped me in my tracks.  The one that I still don’t know how to answer.  Still very excited over his first kill, he asks, “And God, too?  God likes me killing flies, too.”

Yeah.  God.  He brought the big guy into it.  So now we all know the answer to his question is a big fat NO.  And we also know that telling him this answer will open up an even bigger can of worms.  So what do you tell an almost 4 year old when he asks that question?  Aren’t flies living creatures just like birds or cats or horses or elephants?  Why is it fine to kill a fly but not a cat?  And how does God feel about that?

I have to admit, I kind of wussed out on any kind of answer.  I just brushed it under the mat and changed the subject.  And when I told my husband about it later, he just said “Glad it wasn’t me!”

So, has anyone else run into this situation?  How did you answer it?

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4 Responses to to kill a fly?

  1. Linda says:

    I haven’t had the exact “God” question, but I have been asked if it’s ok to kill bugs. We had a BIG ant problem this spring/summer, so there was a lot of ant squishing going on. My answer is that it’s not healthy for us to have bugs in our house. If they are in the house, we can kill them or if it’s simple enough, find a way to put them outside. However, I’ve tried to teach the kids not to step on ants and ant hills outside, explaining that that’s THEIR house, and there is no reason to kill them outside.

  2. Melissa says:

    Oh, I like that Linda. I did think about how I’d rather save the bug and just bring it outside. But then I thought “Have you ever tried to catch a fly??” LOL

  3. Karen says:

    From the mouth of babes….We know that there are universal truths. If you are going to be consistent and value all life, then you should not kill the fly. However, what if it is spreading disease from manure or the garbage to your children? Should you not kill the female anopheles mosquito that kills more humans than any living thing in the world because it spreads malaria? Is the ultimate moral obligation self-preservation, or is it still wrong to kill another living thing that might kill you? Too many questions. I have to flush this dead fly that I just swatted.

  4. LOL…I love children! As a mom to three daughters – (one is in her 3rd year of law school and the twins have set their sights on their juris doctorate too..) I just told them the “truth”

    “We humans are Apex Predators and while it isn’t “right” to kill creatures we do it to keep the ecological balance in our environment. Does G-D like it? Well I’m not sure if “like ” is the right word but it is the way G-D set it up…”

    After I would finish they would just look at me with wide eyes – I guess it’s because I spoke to them this way since they were out of the womb – not sure how much they understood then but eventually it all made sense to them, I guess. They still tease me to this day…:)

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