Recently I sat with a group of parents concerned. . . and rightly so. . . about the challenges they face in communicating the biblical narrative to their children and teens when the cultural narrative is so loud, so pervasive, and so convincing. The questioning attitude of a teenage child who has been raised and instructed in the faith can be the most challenging and disheartening aspect of parenting for Christian parents. I know several parents who have weathered this storm to watch their children grow up with a faith that has become their own. In fact, many of them have embraced the storm knowing that in the long run, their child will be better for having gone through the difficulty. When I ask them how they got through it, they consistently offer these simple and valuable suggestions to parents who are still facing this challenge:
- Be diligent in teaching young children by precept and example. Talk about your faith. . . and never stop. Spend time together learning to understand God’s Word. By doing so you will help your children build a strong foundation. I highly recommend using the brand new book, The New City Catechism, as a teaching tool.
- Don’t be upset when your children start to ask questions. Rejecting the faith of your childhood is very different from asking honest questions and expressing doubt. A teen’s struggle to find answers to real and serious questions is a step on the road to spiritual growth. If you dodge the questions, they will look for answers elsewhere.