As Christian parents, nothing brings us more joy than to see our kids following Jesus with their whole hearts. We celebrate all those moments, from the first prayers they pray to seeing them grow closer to God and getting more involved at church.
But there’s no guarantee our kids will inherit our faith just by having our DNA. Sometime from the middle school years to the college years, our kids have to move from, “This is what Mom and Dad taught me” to “This is what I believe/don’t believe.”
How can we help our children take ownership of their faith?
Allow open dialogue and honest questions. Encourage your kids to question what they hear in church and read on the internet. What did you think about that and why? I’d rather them wrestle with their hard questions when they are under our roof than be avalanched with doubt when they leave our home.
Encourage them to develop relationships with other godly adults. They can hear the truth from different perspectives and see all the life experiences that have led people to faith in Christ.
Be real with your kids about your own faith journey, the ways you have struggled, and what your life was like before you met Jesus. We have the chance to show our kids what following Jesus looks like, up close and personal. They are watching us!
Continue to pray with your teens and for them. Sometimes it's all we can do. There’s no one secret to ensure that your kids choose a relationship with Jesus. But praying diligently for them and trusting God is powerful!
Introduce them to apologetics. Teach your kids that our faith is more than just blind faith. Apologetics gives them the opportunity to study all the ways Christianity is logically sound and how the Bible holds up against scrutiny. Engage their hearts and minds!
1 Peter 3:15-16 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
If your kids are asking questions about God or Christianity that you don’t know how to answer, the resources below are a great place to start. Your faith will be strengthened, too!
God’s Crime Scene, J. Warner Wallace. For the teens who enjoy detective work!
God’s Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace. Great for junior detectives!
On Guard, William Lane Craig. (The Kindle version is on sale now for just $.99!)
Case for Christ, Case for Faith, Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel. These also come in student editions for younger students.
One Minute Apologist (YouTube Channel)
Cross-Examined (YouTube Channel)