I've never been one to shy away from difficult conversations, believing that hard truths and awkward situations should be addressed swiftly and directly by using logic and facts.
And then, I became a parent. Children ask tough questions—questions that need solid answers.
In our family, our daughters' inquiries often revolve around the subject of faith. More specifically, Christian faith. At first blush, their questions seem obtuse—surely, reading the Bible, praying everyday and attending church on Sundays answer the obvious questions, right? If so, then why do so many Christian parents secretly dread these types of discussions with their children? Answer: “Seasoned” believers have questions, doubts, and a nagging wariness about this subject, too, not to mention that most of us don’t know much about what God has actually said or done because we don’t read His Word and pray as often as we should.
My gut instinct instructs me to hide my spiritual ignorance and uncertainty. After all, if they learn that the one who reads the Bible to them and tells them to trust Jesus also wrestles with certain Scriptures, chases spiritual rabbit-holes and on occasion asks, "Is God even real," might they, too, struggle with spiritual matters? Or worse, reject Christ altogether one day?
In truth, we do our children a great disservice when we use our own deficiencies as an excuse not to engage deeply with them on this level. It’s a mistake to believe that we’re protecting them from Satan, the Father of Lies, which is exactly what he wants us to believe. So, instead, we present a cotton candy version of Christianity that looks like delicious sweetness but falls apart after a bite or two because there’s hardly any substance to it.
Honest conversations with our children, which may include our own shortcomings and struggles, will point them more clearly toward saving and abiding faith in Christ. Our voice in spiritual matters is crucial and commanded by God; however, the goal is to cultivate mature Christians under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the authority of God's Word, not robots who simply echo Mom and Dad.
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