How do I know that this is real? How do I believe in something I can’t see?
CITYHOPE YOUTH STAFF
These are the questions that our youth will inevitably ask at some point in their walk with Christ. It doesn't mean you have failed, nor does it mean that your child is walking away from their faith. In fact, we say that these questions will create an opportunity for unprecedented faith in this generation. We see that this is a generation who has a hunger for knowledge. They desire a greater understanding of both political, social and even religious reasonings of all sorts. When your teenager comes to you expressing their doubt, don’t look at it as a parenting failure instead, look at it as an opportunity to compound your Child's faith.
“I’m starting to doubt my Christianity.”
As parents, this sentence is never one that you look forward to hearing. At first glance, it sounds like the first steps someone takes down the wrong path in life. However, it could be the question that leads to a life built on a stronger faith because of the foundation that it was built upon is solid.
We have all been there. We’ve been at a crossroads in life where we begin to question things. “Is this life of doing right worth it? Is my God actually the real God?” We’ve been in a time in life where we want answers to some of life's toughest questions, and a simple “because the Bible says so” doesn’t suffice. Yet, we dread the day that one of our own children asks those questions. We remember the struggle and conflict that we had to go through. We remember the hurt that we felt. But we the truth is that those same questions strengthened the very basis of our faith. Sometimes our answers seem to point to and push towards blind faith. While we do have to learn to trust God completely, we cannot neglect to teach the reasoning behind that trust. When we tell this generation a reason, many times it will go in one ear and out the other. However, when they discover the reason for themselves, they will be fully committed in a way they never would have been before. We must do our parts to give them a safe place to learn and ask questions about why this faith-walk called Christianity is real.
How can I build my teenagers faith when they begin to doubt?
Live a life of faith. We have to practice what we preach. We cannot expect our teens to do something that we do not practice ourselves. From the big things in life to the little things, we must reinforce the thought that God is in control and takes care of his children. As you know, actions speak much louder than words. Maybe you’re not verbally questioning God's existence, but you are questioning His faithfulness in the way you make choices in life. This will absolutely be reflected in your teen’s ability to trust God’s faithfulness. We must always lead well. This means we go first and show our children the way.
Give them space to doubt. This seems counterproductive, right? But the truth of it is it’s one of the best things that we can do to strengthen the faith of our youth. When we only believe in something because we heard it from our parents, or even from a platform at church, it creates a generation of people counting on others for faith. But when we uncover the answers to our questions for our own faith, we begin to build a faith of our own. This is the faith that leads to a long, happy life lived for the Lord. There is a reason why Paul was such a great apostle, he didn’t just take the word of God as truth because he heard someone preaching it. He doubted plenty! But, he also grew to see the undeniable truths of God's Word himself. That built a foundation so strong that no hardship or pain or trial would deter him from living a life devoted to his calling from Christ.
There is a reason why we believe in what we believe, and it’s because Christianity is undeniable truth. We can look at history and see just how real Jesus was. We have to be comfortable enough to allow our children to see and discover these things for themselves.
Pray, everyday we must pray for our children and this new generation of believers. Pray, that they see and acknowledge the need they have for Christ. Pray that they would have revelations of who God is and how much He loves them. He is the Redeemer of all things and His plans are good. We must pray that we are strong enough in our own faith to be the examples that our children need. We need to make choices that help us to grow in our own faith and ask God to equip us with answers we need to answer the questions of our children. We also need faith to believe that we are raising up men and women of God, who will live out their God-given purpose.