Apologetics isn’t just for adults.
I first heard about apologetics as a young teenager, and it kept popping back into my life for several years afterward. My junior year of high school, I was hooked. It may seem like I started young, but I was wondering why I hadn’t heard of apologetics sooner.
If you have a family, or any interaction with kids and teenagers in your church, work, or even your neighborhood, you can have a huge impact on the lives of young
1. Open the Doors of Communication About Faith
Begin with a conversation. Sit down with your family, preferably regularly, to discuss your faith. Do you usually have dinner or another meal together? That’s
Take time to talk over some basic tenets of your faith with your family. This is a crucial opportunity to establish a foundation of what you believe. Need some suggestions? Check out the statement of faith on your church’s website and think of how you could explain it to your children. Or read through this list.
Be sure to go beyond just talking about what you believe. Apologetics dives into the reasons why we believe what we do, and it’s never too early to start working through this with your family! If you’re reading through a statement of faith, look up the Scriptures cited and read them together. Try encouraging your kids to come up with some Scripture references before you list some, if appropriate to their level of maturity.
2. Ask Good Questions and Teach How to Search For Answers
If you’re a parent, chances are your kids ask you loads of questions every day. But it’s also important for you to ask your kids questions!
Just as with adults, questions provide excellent opportunities for kids to think hard. Tailor your questions to be relevant to your child’s current life situation and help them arrive at answers.
For example, you might ask a middle schooler, “Why do you think God allowed Adam and Eve to sin if He knew it would mess up the world?” Give them some time to think it over, and encourage them to include relevant Bible verses and real-world examples as they answer. You can suggest some as well.
For younger children who don’t have the skills or access to look up resources yet, consider asking a question like: “How do we know Jesus is God’s Son?”
Don’t expect your kids to have “perfect” answers. The purpose of asking questions is to get them thinking and talking through that thought process. And if they’re unsure, don’t just leave them stranded–work with them to find the best answer you can! This is a teaching and growing opportunity for everyone involved.
3. Share Conversations, Questions, and Doubts
I strongly encourage you to set aside time for this family discussion regularly. Create an intentional habit of sharing conversations or questions that came up in each family member’s day or week, and discuss how they responded. If they felt that they had a good answer but weren’t sure how to respond, share ideas for the future. If they were stumped by a question, spend time searching it out together. It’s important to involve your kids in the process of discovering the answers.
During these times, don’t be afraid to share your own questions and doubts in an appropriate way, especially if you have older kids or teenagers. By setting this precedent yourself, you establish an environment where your kids will feel more comfortable speaking up about their own uncertainties.
Your family is its own community filled with opportunities to learn and grow together. Take advantage of the ways apologetics offers to help your family grow in spiritual maturity. I hope you will consider these three elements of how to use apologetics for your family’s growth as a starting point in this area.