Years ago, communities were full of people who came from similar walks of life. They belonged to the same churches, their kids all went to the same schools, and everyone was fairly well acquainted. Back then, entire towns rose early every Sunday morning, enjoyed a family breakfast together, then dressed in their finest clothing to head to church. There was no internet and there was little in the way of diversity, so children weren’t likely to ask the types of hard-hitting questions that they do today.

Now, people can join together in fellowship remotely. They might have a telephone conference every week for Bible study instead of meeting at a house of worship. In addition, children are also aware of the various other faiths, and they see that their followers are just as devout. For parents of kids in 2019, there will be times when you will not know how to address the questions and issues that your kids bring to the table. Here is how you can overcome religious issues concerning Christianity and your children coming of age.

Outside Influences and Their Impact on Impressionable Children

Introducing children to Christianity is a beautiful experience. From the time that they are baptized to when you put them in Sunday school, they are likely to be enthusiastic and very malleable. Because church also works as a close-knit community, your children will be as eager to follow along with lessons and excited about catching up with their favorite teachers and friends. However, at some point, your children are also going to be exposed to criticisms and outright anti-religious sentiments. It may come from the music that your children are exposed to, from teachers at their primary schools, or even from the parents of their friends. Now, some parents shield their children from many of these influences by banning secular music in their homes or by enrolling their children in a Christian school. Regardless of the efforts of parents to keep their children on a righteous path, there is always going to be outside influences that make your children question everything they know about their faith.

Handling Questions About Christianity From Your Children

Look back to when you were growing up. When did you notice the differences between the ways boys and girls were expected to behave? How were you impacted by great tragedies and acts of violence? There are things that people see and experience in life that make them re-evaluate everything that they know. Reading about historical events such as the Holocaust may create a great number of questions in your children’s minds. Even today, with politicians saying and doing questionable things in the name of religion, your kids will likely want to broach some particularly sensitive topics. The best way to approach all of these kinds of completely normal and understandable questions is by better educating yourself. Don’t be so quick to give your children an immediate answer if you are unsure of yourself. Many parents seek counsel with their pastors and other religious leaders so that they can get a clear handle on everything.

Why It Is Cool to Be “Critical” of Religion

Simply put, there are issues today that children and their parents have to address that would have been absolutely unthinkable even 10 years ago. “Shock Rock” is nothing new. Cult leaders and popular culture icons have long shunned religion altogether, with a particular focus on anti-Christian sentiments. It is very common for teens, in particular, to believe that it is cool or even cutting-edge for them to reject religion in all its forms. They might start with seemingly innocuous questions, then ramp up to criticizing the actions and beliefs of religious people, including those in their very own families. Even worse, they might begin refusing to go to church or take on some sort of harsh persona that is unlike anything their families have ever seen. Oftentimes, this is the result of outside influence by negative persons, belief systems, and even entities. Parents can have a lot of trouble combatting these forces simply because anything new and different is seen as being “cool” to kids. At the Calvary Baptist Church of Burbank, disbelief is targeted and addressed straight on. Their approach is to cite the scripture itself to dispel any theories on disbelief and loss of faith.

What About Science?

Science teaches people that evolution and the Big Bang theory are the modes in which people appeared on earth. In the Bible, followers know and believe with all their heart that God created the world in just seven days. While most Christian parents ensure that their children know how mankind came to be well before they are taught these scientific theories in school, they still have a lot of trouble with science in particular. Most scientific facts are undeniable. From the periodic table to the various classification of species, science is both valuable and undisputed. It is important for you to tell your children about the difference between proven facts and theories. There are theories today about the origins of mankind, but they are based on educated guesses and hypothesis. Familiarize your children with all of the Christian scientists that exist so they understand that it is possible to be a supporter of science while also still having their faith.

Addressing Stories in the Bible

When your children first learned of some of the more awe-inspiring stories in the bible, they were amazed and entertained. Knowing that Noah constructed a massive arc fit for carrying two of each of the animals in the world is not only amazing, but it is also necessary for understanding the awesome power of God. As kids grow, they naturally learn about what is possible in reality. In everyday life, it is not possible to live in the belly of a whale and parting seas is equally impossible. Moreover, the stories in the bible all occurred thousands of years ago. Children may also wonder why there are no “new” stories for them to enjoy if everything they read was true. The truth is that while the bible was written long ago, there have been many miracles in modern times, up to the present day. Explore them with your kids.

Empowering Your Children to Make Decisions of Their Own

A parent leads a child to adulthood as a man leads a horse to water. Both will get there on their own, according to their timelines and schedules. While you will want your children to listen to all of your words, heed your advice, and follow your faith, they have to make all of their own decisions. So, let them know that they have your support regardless. Tell them that you will pray for them even when you are not seeing eye to eye. Show them what unwavering faith looks like on the inside, not so much on the outside. Taking these steps absolutely will empower your kids to make the kind of decisions that you want for them. A child that respects his or her parent is going to put a lot of value in receiving their continued approval and blessings. Make it so that they trust and believe in your convictions enough to want to follow in your footsteps.

Why Asking Questions Is Not Religious Disbelief

There are plenty of sayings that parents use to silence their children; strong words with deep meanings that are meant to silence all questions and trepidations. One of those sayings is the old familiar adage of, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Telling children to “Stay in a child’s place,” is also mightily effective. At the same time, these common yet dated sayings do not really stop children from doing what they do naturally, which is to be inquisitive. Stopping your children from asking questions about Christianity, in particular, is not generally going to lead them on a path to faith. It takes away their ability to analyze and get thoughtful answers. In fact, shaming children or even questioning their faith because they ask difficult questions about the world is likely to plant a seed of doubt. The fact of the matter is that it is far better to allow your children to explore on their own and encourage them to read the bible on their own, join bible study groups and suss out the truth for themselves. A good Christian is not one who never asks questions; a good Christian is one who has faith. Sometimes that requires a person to go through various life stages to get to that point.

The world around everyone today is a fast moving and changing place. Even though technology has solved problems and created various modern conveniences, it hasn’t solved every question in existence. People still wonder about the end of times as much as they worry about getting their next paycheck. Your kids will have these kinds of questions too. Nurture them and let them know that it is okay to go down many roads in order to be secure in their faith.