Many students are heading off to college in the coming weeks. For some this will be their first experience completely away from the supervision of parents. This is an exciting and trying time for everyone.
Parents love their children, they trust them, but they know how difficult it will be for Christians. Some parents understand this better than others, they may have experienced some of the temptations their children will face. Sex, drugs, and dangerous activity are worrisome enough, but doubts of the existence of God, and belief in God are the most troubling.
Today’s world is much different from a generation ago, or even a decade ago. Children are online more; they read and hear conflicting stories about almost any topic including belief in God. Satan uses every effort possible to turn our young people away from God. We need to be vigilant and, on our guard, to protect our children from this evil.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. Don’t be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 (CSB)
How to Help Your Children When They Question Their Faith
Within a four-year college career most students will undoubtedly encounter a professor who will attempt to show strong arguments against God, while promoting their own atheistic beliefs. This will be a time of testing for students, especially if other students try to convince them to deny their belief in God.
- Be prepared to have discussions with your children about their faith. I encourage parents to find a class in Christian apologetics and enroll in it. This will help parents be better equipped to respond to doubts children may raise. The C.S. Lewis Institute has a couple of great ones. Solicit your church to being a class in Christian apologetic.
- Much of the false information students are being exposed to comes from the book and movie; The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Although Brown expresses that his book is a work of fiction, much of it is assumed to be true. Take time to purchase A Quest for Answers, The Da Vinci Code by Josh McDowell. McDowell’s book addresses many of the questions and mistruths in The Da Vinci Code.
- Take a family trip to the Ark Encounter, and the Creation Museum in Kentucky. The exhibits will answer many questions. Additionally there are many lectures and much information available. If a family trip is not possible, take it anyway, and make it a family trip later.
- Read books by Nabeel Qureshi, Lee Strobel, and C.S. Lewis all atheists who became Christians. They share their journey and the undisputable facts of the Bible. There are many others. Be careful in your quest for authors. Some authors teach of a Christian life being easy, without problems. This is false and should cause parents to refrain from investing in these works.
- Communication – listen to your children and their concerns. Even though you may know they are wrong, let them know you are willing to listen. Do not become argumentative. Instead, take the time to pray about the questions and doubts your children have raised. Prepare to answer the doubts in a calm manner. In most cases children are presented untruths through educated professors or fellow students. For your points to be considered valid to them, let them understand your defense of God is educated and supported by the Bible and history.
- If you have high school students, enroll them in an apologetics class, or do a study course together. You will learn together and be able to discuss their questions. You will gain a better understanding of their Christian growth.
- Many colleges have a Christian Apologetics club. Find out if your child’s college has one and encourage them to join.
College is an exciting time when children begin to grow and prepare for their futures. Lift them up to God every day. Let them know you love them and respect them as adults. Always be there for them. Even though they want to think they are independent of their parents, this is perhaps the time they need you the most.