Some of us grew up in a church or spiritual environment where questions seemed suspect. We were told to simply have faith, to not doubt. Or our questions were met with overly simplistic answers that didn’t ring true. Because of that, we might find ourselves unsure of how to handle our children’s questions about God and faith.
If you’ve been talking about God with your child, they might start asking things like, “How can God see everyone?” or “If God is there, how come we can’t see God?” They may get confused by what they hear at church about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Or they might wonder if God is fair or good.
Sometimes, just agreeing that “God is amazing and mysterious!” validates their struggle and keeps them engaged in the continuing process of learning about God. No one—even the smartest theologians—understands God fully. Other times, you might turn to the Bible to see what it says about God’s love and care. If your child is asking questions born from grief or pain, avoid placating them with a rote answer, but instead acknowledge their pain, sadness, or confusion. Admit there are things we don’t know or understand. Remind them that God doesn’t promise us a life without trouble, but God does promise to be with us and always love us.
Reassure your child that even Jesus said it was good to keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking on the door until we find God (see Matthew 7:7). Assure your child that it’s okay to ask questions! Faith and doubt aren’t opposites. In fact, questions are often exactly what leads us to grow closer to God. Knowing that their questions are allowed and encouraged will ultimately lead your child to a stronger faith.
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Originally Published 6/20/2017