0:00:03 – Speaker 1
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0:00:32 – Speaker 1
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0:00:38 – Speaker 2
So last year one of my kids came to me and I could tell by the look on his face and the tone in his voice that it was something big and he was questioning the Christian faith in general and then some personal aspects of his own walk and he just wanted to talk about it And in that moment I kind of went through this mix of emotions. First of all I wasn’t too surprised because he’s my analytical kid, very black and white, very science-minded, right and wrong, and likes facts and figures, and so that was kind of the space where he was coming from in his line of questioning. But I wasn’t super surprised because I remember going through that around the same age, a little bit older, but I remember what that felt like in wanting to talk it through without being judged. So I was glad he came to talk to me.
0:01:30 – Speaker 1
I mean that’s big thoughts for a little kid, right? Because he’s like not even in middle school yet.
0:01:36 – Speaker 2
Yeah, he was in fourth grade at the time. But I remember God kind of showing me something that a lot of these kids who are raised in Christian homes always been in church since the day they were born Bible study, reading, scripture. We talk about the Holy Spirit and our faith all the time. I can see how those questions would come younger. For me it was later in life, but I was so glad that he came to me and shared it with me. But I’ll be honest, and I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but in that moment when he asked his first question, i spiraled real quick and I was like I got to figure out what to do. Or my child is going to hell, like he is going to become an atheist, like, oh my gosh, i got to get this right, you know.
0:02:20 – Speaker 1
I think often, as parents, our kids may say something, or maybe watching something on TV or something, and we’re like, oh my gosh, red flag. And then we like think into the future and we panic. And when we do that, our response is so bad Because it’s that crazy parent mode that comes out Instead of just okay, he has this question, let’s walk through this.
0:02:47 – Speaker 2
We go zero to a hundred, right.
0:02:49 – Speaker 1
Right, in a calm manner. But you know, for all of our listeners out there, i think each kid is going to come to this moment at a different age. You know you have littles and he is very analytical. He’s in a very I know this kid. He’s very analytical and intelligent and science-minded And so of course those questions are going to come earlier. You know, with my older kids, or with my kids, it came a little bit later And even then I was so excited when they finally because to me it’s like an investment. You know, when your kids are questioning like why did God do this? Or why does the Bible say this, or is this really true? To me, that curiosity shows me they’re interested, that they care about God, and to me it’s a positive thing. but I know a lot of parents do spiral with the oh my gosh, they’re going to hell, they’re going to become Satan.
0:03:44 – Speaker 2
You’re judging me, aren’t you Maybe?
0:03:48 – Speaker 1
I’m totally joking. In my mind I’m saying default to love, default to love.
0:03:53 – Speaker 2
No, no, i think it’s perfectly natural.
0:03:56 – Speaker 1
I think it’s perfectly natural having that thought.
0:03:59 – Speaker 2
I think if we shift our thinking in that moment and maybe you have that thought, but then you take it captive and you say, Lord, show me how to respond here in this moment, Like you said, it can become such a beautiful, positive thing that they’re asking you at a young age because you don’t want them to get to adult age and they’re walking away from the faith because they never had a chance to ask those questions.
0:04:25 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and this is where I can kind of get on a soapbox, because you know our Bible-believing churches and our Christian families. Sometimes I think we need to do a better job of allowing the space for questioning and for these conversations to happen of. I’m struggling with this belief. Can you help me? We have to be a place where there’s no shame in that. There’s a great new book on the market. It’s called Another Gospel by Alyssa Childers and I highly recommend it if you have a kid questioning their faith, because it really walks you through like where the original manuscript came from and the validity of Scripture and why we can trust it. It’s a really good thing.
But her journey is awesome as well.
You know, she grew up in a Christian home, like many of our kids are doing, and she got involved in a church when she was older and the pastor actually asked her to join a small group and she loved this church.
She loved the feel of it, she felt at home And but during the small group he started poking holes in the validity of Scripture And basically making comments like is the Bible really true? I mean, do we really know that? And she found herself questioning the foundation of what she had believed her whole life And I just love her journey because she says you know, i had to go back to the beginning and I had to foundationally look at everything and rebuild it. She compared it to like a Lego set and going back to the instructions and pouring over them like the Bible is the instructions and, brick by brick, laying that foundation. But what I love, kim, about your story is that you’re doing this brick by brick when they’re young And I think as parents, we have a real opportunity here not to sweep these things under the rug and to really build this foundation from the beginning so they don’t have to tear it down and rebuild it, does that?
0:06:24 – Speaker 2
make sense. Yes, yes, a solid foundation before they leave your house. I mean, what better gift? And honestly, if you think about it, that’s the mission of nextTalk, with all of the things you know, creating that space in our home every day, all the time where our kids can ask about anything. Yes, you hear us talking about pornography, sexuality, all those things, but faith needs to be on that list, guys, and it’s easy for us to feel like, oh, my goodness, they’re questioning like the very core of what we believe. Why would they do that, get defensive or even have a look of shock. But if we can take that down, if we can put that away and instead praise our kids when they come to us and say thank you so much for asking me, this is great. Tell me more about what you’re thinking or what are your questions, then we get a chance to pour truth into them. We get a chance to point them back to Jesus.
0:07:18 – Speaker 1
Exactly. You know, when my kids come to me and they have a question, i am so thankful for it because again they’re invested enough to ask. But I always say to them God wants you to test everything, and that comes straight from scripture. Like there’s a great verse that I love 1 Thessalonians 5, 21 to 22,. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good and stay away from every kind of evil. That test everything that is said. Do you know how many times I quote that scripture to my kids because of social media influencers, Of a pastor that may say something? You do not trust people. We get it wrong all the time. Churches get it wrong, pastors get it wrong, social media influencers get it wrong, but God does not. And so test everything against the word of God And that’s your moral compass.
0:08:14 – Speaker 2
That scripture is like golden. Thank you for sharing that. It’s such a good one. Okay, so your kid comes to you and they have these questions. We just the first thing we want to do is praise them and thank them and let them know you love them no matter what. That’s super important.
I’ve heard that from so many Christians who struggled with their faith. They have said the fact that my parents told me I love you no matter what just gave me that sense of peace to be able to ask the questions and to be able to dig on my own, which kind of reminds me of kind of our next point. It’s really a lot about us. We need to rely on God. We need to change our perspective And, instead of freaking out, praising him that, yes, our kid is coming to us And yes, like you said, mandy, that they’re seeking wisdom and truth, that is theirs.
But think about this If our kids don’t struggle, they are going to have borrowed convictions, and this really has been what I have focused on the most is I don’t want my kids to have borrowed convictions. I want them to have their own convictions, their own faith and their own relationship with Jesus, and that really hit home for me as I began to think about that, because growing up I didn’t really understand it when I was a kid, when my mom would say you can only ride on my coattails for so long. You have to find your own faith, you have to seek God for yourself. But as I’ve grown up and now becoming a parent, i understand what she meant. She can introduce me to Jesus, but I have got to find him on my own.
0:09:44 – Speaker 1
Man, that’s a word right there. I love how you said borrowed convictions, because we’re each responsible here for our relationship with Jesus. We each have to be accountable for that. We can’t adopt it because our spouse is a Christian or our parents are Christians. This has to be a personal walk and a personal relationship.
When we were doing this show, we consulted one of our counselors who serve in our advisory council, jamie Mershawn, and she’s going to join us for the next show, which kind of wrap up this questioning series with lots of good counselor tips.
But as we were talking through this with her, she had an analogy and I just loved it, and it pertains to exactly what you’re saying, kim, about how your mom was like you can’t have my faith, you have to have your faith. And this is what Jamie said Kids who grow up in a Christian home, they automatically get a helmet put on them And that is this protection that we want to give them from the world through their faith in Jesus, and we give that to them. If we put all the stickers and decorate it and customize it ourselves, then they’re just adopting our faith. We need to let them do the customization. And she said you know, kids who grow up in no Christian home. They get no helmet. So they have to find their own helmet, their own stickers, their own customization, and it becomes more personal. So the more that Christians that we can let them personalize that helmet, the more it will be their own journey and process to get to Jesus. I just loved that analogy.
0:11:12 – Speaker 2
That visual really hits home for me because in that moment, if I had shut down my kid, i believe he still would be a Christian. He would still know who Christ is, but his faith would be mine. It wouldn’t have given him that space to dig deep into scripture, to ask hard questions and to find Jesus on his own. And that’s not what I want.
0:11:37 – Speaker 1
That’s not what I want, well, and for parents with older kids, i want to say here too you know, if you see your kid making mistakes, sharing nudes, looking at pornography, you know these things that they’re bombarded with daily because of the world we live in I want you to really pray that they really come to appreciate the fact that God can redeem and restore and forgive, because, yes, they’re making mistakes, but they also will appreciate the grace more because they need it And it’s honestly a way for God to turn all that junk into something amazing. Pray for that for your kids. I’m so glad you said that.
0:12:19 – Speaker 2
That is just so important for us to remember that it is not the end just because our kids mess up. One of the other things that we need to do is equip our kids. You know, we’ve told them. Yes, thank you for your help. Yes, thank you for asking me the questions. We’ve told them. We love them, no matter what. We’re doing our own work, praying that God will remind us that this is really a blessing. Then we really get the opportunity to equip our kids and point them to Jesus in a lot of different ways Because, like you said in the beginning, every kid is different and they’re going to respond to different things. And so, with my kid, we got him this book called Cold Case Christianity for Kids Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective by Jay Warner Wallace and Suzy Wallace, and he loved it because it was like digging for details and how to dig into scripture for truth, and you could write little notes in the side, and for his fourth grade mind, it was just what he needed to find the answers he was looking for.
0:13:16 – Speaker 1
Well, i love this because you created a safe space for him to ask questions, and then you gathered where his head was at, and then you could get the resources to help him fill in the gaps.
0:13:27 – Speaker 2
Match it up.
0:13:28 – Speaker 1
Yeah, you’ve got to match You’re not going to know which resources your kids need, because unless you gather that context So that’s why the space of the conversation is so important Just a couple other resources for you If your kid is really big into science. I heard a scientist come and speak at our church a long time ago. His name is Dr Hugh Ross. He has an organization called Reasons to Believe And he was an atheist who set out to prove all the world religions were wrong. It was so interesting his story.
When he got to Christianity he was. He’s looking at the creation timeline and he’s lining it up with science and dinosaur bones and all the stuff that he has with his timeframe. And he said when he laid it over each other, it just fit perfectly chronologically the way it happened And he became a Christian because of it, because of his research to prove it wrong. He you know God is so good to use that right And he had. He had this space where he was able to question what he believed and look what God did with it. I think we can learn so much from that story.
0:14:30 – Speaker 2
A book, my mom loved and read many times over the years and they have a children’s version too. former atheist Lee Strobel, kind of the same thing. He set out to disprove Christianity and then became a Christian. He wrote The Case for Christ, very famous book And so you can get the kid version if you have younger questioners but also read it for yourself. I think that’s a great book, just to give you an understanding of where someone who’s questioning might be and what scriptures and how they went about finding Jesus for themselves.
0:15:01 – Speaker 1
And there’s a movie about that. So go watch the movie. We watched it with our kids and it’s an older movie and set in an older timeframe because it was, you know. It’s like showing it happening in real time, where he was an investigative journalist and how he came to know Jesus. It’s a pretty cool movie. And what I mentioned earlier, another gospel by Alyssa Childers. I love this book because within Christianity, so many people are starting to believe so many different things And people are starting to be very confused about what Christianity is because of all these different versions of it, and she does a really good job about talking about the basics of Christianity and the basic tenets that we believe in and why we believe it and the validity of those. So it’s a great resource. Your kids may not like it, but I think it would be good for the parents to read because it will help you in your conversations as they question their faith.
0:15:57 – Speaker 2
And let’s go back to the basics here of just one of the best ways that we can help our kids as they’re finding Jesus on their own is just talking about our faith in the day to day. You know, Have we forgotten to do that? Are we expressing how God is moving and working in our own lives to our kids? Are we being open and honest about that? That speaks volumes to them. And maybe your kids want to do a Bible study. Just open the door to all kinds of possibilities And if they’re going to a youth group, make sure it’s a solid one. Talk to the leaders, Let them know you know what’s going on, or ask for suggestions.
All these different ways are things that you can do to pour into your kid in this time, but don’t force it on them. These are things you present, maybe over time, not all on the same day, because, can you imagine, none of us love that where we feel like you know we’re being interrogated and then it’s like here’s all the resources and you will do it. That’s not what we mean here. We mean talk with your kid, hear them pray about it. Maybe one or two things will rise up to the surface and be a good match to help your kid figure this out.
0:17:06 – Speaker 1
Yeah, you don’t want to become a nag, and so think of it like this you only get a couple ways that you can bring it up before you’re a nag, so really pray about the timing of that. And again, it’s just honestly, when they come to you with questions, the no shaming and the no judgment zone, that’s the best way that you’re going to open up this conversation. And then you know, one by one, as you gather context, you can say okay, i think this book may help them in this space. So this is what I’m going to recommend. But I love what you said. This is not lecturing, this is not preach mode. This is a conversation, an ongoing conversation, one step at a time.
One more thing I want to mention here.
You know, as I’ve gotten to talk with my kids more and we’ve developed this conversation, one of the things that I remind them of is are you going to trust a man made organization or a philosophy that’s only been around 100 years or so, or are you going to trust this thing that’s been around thousands of years, with a man who pretty much everybody agrees did walk the earth?
you know people disagree on if he was Jesus, if he was really the Messiah or not. Everybody kind of says, okay, jesus lived and walked on the earth, then he died. There were witnesses who saw him after the resurrection, right. So that’s been proven in history and it’s been around thousands of years. So who are you listening to? Are you going to listen to the social media influencers and these organizations that are man made, or are you going to listen to this foundational thing over here And this is just part of our conversations, this ebb and flow as we’re talking through these things, but I have found that it’s a good point that my kids take notice of the older kids anyway on social media, all right.
0:18:48 – Speaker 2
so just to wrap up, for you, praise your kid for coming to you with their questions and then reassure them that this is completely normal and you love them, no matter what. Rely on God to guide you as your kids seek truth and wisdom that is theirs, not yours, and equip your kid with real life faith and sound biblical truth and resources that match their questions.
Transcribed by https://podium.page