Why do the leaves change color in the fall?

Posted on September 29, 2010 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Fall Reflection - Copyright Jay Younts

We have been looking at the value of questions. Questions are opportunities to offer praise and worship to God.  Anytime a “why” question is asked we know that God has something to do with the answer. This means that you will have many opportunities to tell your children about the wonders of God as they grow up in your family.

There are many ways to answer this particular question about why leaves change color. In some cases, as the green chlorophyll is reduced in the leaves by the coming of cooler weather, the underlying color of the leaves is then on display. In other cases the brown leaves may simply be waste that is left as the leaves get ready to fall.  But then this answer can lead to many other questions, such as why does it get cooler in the fall and then colder in the winter and then the process begins again with the coming of spring.  The seasons happen because the earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees on its axis. This tilt, relative to the earth’s orbit around the sun, is at the perfect angle to cause for four seasons each year.

These are just a few of the reasons why leaves change color. But as I just mentioned, God is always at the core of each answer. With regard to the seasons changing, Genesis 8:22 promises that God will continue to bring seasonal changes at just the right time as long as the earth endures. Eagerly answering questions about leaves changing colors has the capacity to promote a relational climate where your children feel comfortable asking you questions. Your goal as a parent is to invite these questions and to acknowledge God’s power and place in all that happens.  Over time you may be blessed with questions such as, why are boys and girls attracted to each other? Or, why is it that my friends often try to hurt each other by what they say? These are the questions that you want to want to hear, that you watch for as a parent. The Bible provides answers for these questions. Faithfully answering questions in a way that honors God may also lead to children who realize that God is the one who has all of the answers to the issues of life.

Questions are a good thing!

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.