It is a normal thing for teens to question their faith. Almost every teenager I know goes through some doubts. It might be doubting God’s love or doubting that the Bible is the Word of God or doubting that Jesus rose from the dead.
Welcome questions from your teenagers when you are a mom. If you don’t know the answer to “How can I know that Jesus rose from the dead?” or “Why does evil exist?” then tell your teen you will get them an answer.
During the teenage years, young men and women often wrestle with God. Is He there? Does He love them? Is His Word true? Are the really saved?
Never belittle someone’s doubts or genuine questions, especially those of your own child.
Cultivate an atmosphere where your sons and daughters can talk to you about anything. Also, pray for them. Remember Jesus loves them more than we do.
Your relationship with your son or daughter during their teen and young adult years is critical. Do whatever you have to so that it is strong and healthy. Make time in your schedule to go out to lunch, grab a cup of coffee, play a game of tennis, or take a walk around the block together.
This is a scary time in many’s young people’s lives as they make choices that will affect the rest of their lives. Be their biggest fan and cheer them on to victory in Jesus!
Always find good things in them to affirm and compliment, even if you have to reach.
Many young people in our day and age are abandoning the faith so stand strong in prayer and fasting, yes I said fasting, for your sons and daughters.
The most important thing about your children is that they know Jesus and experience his grace, mercy, and love. Pray for them. God answers prayer!
Love them with affection, time, compliments, gifts, and showing interest in their lives and friends. Make time!
One thing that has meant a lot in our home is mentoring time, either informal or formal times.
Riding to the YMCA every morning to workout, Rose and I would talk on the way and pray on the way home. This weren’t long times, but they were consistent and bore much fruit.
Mike met weekly with our son to study the Word of God, pray, and talk. I see the fruit in my son’s life.
Whether it’s going through a Bible study, digging into the Scriptures, or just talking, spend purposeful time with your teens and young adults.
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In I Peter 3:15, God tells us, "In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect" (ESV).
Gently and while showing our teens love and respect, we can share answers with them.
There are so many resources out that you can use to answer their questions or to strengthen their faith in the midst of doubts.
Here are some books that my children read in high school:
More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell (short book on apologetics to answer questions like “Was Jesus really God?” and “Did He really rise from the dead?”
Search for Significance by Robert McGee (applies the truths of the Gospel to our deepest needs—wonderful book)
Cold Case Christianity by J. Warner Wallace (love this book! A detective examines the “crime scene” of faith)
Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell (huge book but covers every questions a teen could possibly have—a great resource for your home)
Understanding the Times by David Noebel (covers Christian, Muslim, New Age, Humanist, Marxist, and Post-Modern worldviews in all the major academic disciplines like law, sociology, economics, pyschology, etc.)
Here are some DVD series we watch in High School
Demolishing Strongholds DVD series (great series on worldview, including creation science)
How Then Shall We Live (Frances Schaeffer) DVD series (this covers worldview through history by showing how worldview is expressed through the arts, music, architecture, and literature—older, but awesome!)
Something you can do ahead of the teen years is to start memorizing as much Scripture as possible. I regret we did not memorize more Bible verses and passages when the kids were little. This Word, hidden in young hearts, will remind them of truth during times of doubt and unbelief.
If you didn’t start early, then start now, memorize Scripture with your teen, especially in the areas of greatest need.
For example, if the are doubting God’s love, memorize Romans 8. If they are wondering if God created the world, memorize Colossians 1:16.
Stay the Course!
Don’t give up and don’t waver! Stand strong in faith for breakthrough in your teen’s life! God answers prayer so pray and fast. Keep loving your teen. Offer helpful resources and to study God’s Word together.
I know I said this before, but remember: Jesus loves your teen more than you do! Stand in faith for your teen!
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