Tag Archives: Doubt

Faith in the home – Spiritual Conversations with your Children

5 Jul

Research done among youth group participants by Fuller Institute revealed only 12% of mothers have regular dialogue with their children about spiritual or life issues.  Only 5% of teenagers reported that their fathers have regular dialogue with them regarding spiritual or life issues.

The lack of communication in our homes about our faith is clearly an obstacle to the passing on of our faith and a cause of the Millennial Exodus.

Most of us are familiar with our responsibility as parents to imprint our faith upon our offspring.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states…

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 

However, being a spiritual leader in the home is not always easy.

Many parents struggle with addressing spirituality within the home.  Some parents struggle because it was never modeled for them, or feel as if they are not equipped.  The main reason that parents don’t talk to their children about faith is because they are afraid. 

Yes.  Fear shuts down the conversation before it even begins.

We fear how our child may respond either through statements, questions, or actions.  As parents, we fear that our child may reject the faith that we believe – and that their unbelief means that they are rejecting us.

Another source of this fear could be that our child might struggle with the same doubts that we ourselves possess.  Most Christians do not like facing our doubts, but we try to ignore or bury them in other activity.  We know the “church answers” or party-line responses for our doubt, but those pesky doubts linger.  Instead of leading our child on this pathway of faith, we give our children the glib responses that we don’t truly believe.

While making spiritual conversations with your children doesn’t take a lot of training, it does take courage.

  • Be courageous – step out and speak to your child about their spiritual lives and beliefs.
  • Sit back and listen.  Don’t attempt to answer all their questions, or solve all their doubt.  As your children age, you should not be looking to convert them or change their beliefs.  You should seek understanding for yourself, and encourage them.  If you seek to change them, these conversations will always end in conflict.  If you seek to listen to them, these conversations will lead to a deeper fuller relationship with your child.
  • Speak to your journey – trials, failures, victories, and hopes.  Share with your child your own experiences, while acknowledging their autonomy to make their own decisions.
  • Reflect and pray.  Don’t express your concerns to your child, but express your thoughts through praying to God.  Process what you hear with your spouse or friends.  Having community with others who are parenting emerging adults is essential for maintaining your sanity.
  • Repeat. 

May God grant you the faith and courage you need to faithfully parent your emerging adult children.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder of EA Resources.  He has a passion to encourage parents of emerging adults, and faith communities who want to minister to their needs.  If he can help your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Faith and Doubt with Philip Yancey

8 Jan

Earlier this week, I released a piece on how the disciples lacked faith in Jesus right up until His final words to them (Matthew 28:17).

I saw a post on doubting by Philip Yancey, and wanted to share it with my fellow doubters.  It is good to know that as someone who struggles with doubt, that I have good company.  Philip Yancey is the author of many books including:  The Jesus I Never Knew, What’s So Amazing About Grace? and Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?  His books have garnered 13 Gold Medallion Awards from Christian publishers and booksellers.

My favorite line of the article is,

“Inquisitiveness and questioning are inevitable parts of the life of faith.  Where there is certainty there is no room for faith.”   

My world once ruled by a modernistic mindset contained little room for doubt, now I know that there is no faith without it.

To read more, click here.

 

 

Doubting to the Very End.

6 Jan

When the disciples saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:17 NIV)

For three years, I had walked with him.  I saw him feed five thousand.  I witnessed him heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead – all of which could not keep the doubt away.

There should be no doubt. There should be no second thoughts.

I heard his voice, felt his touch, and saw him perform the miraculous with my own eyes.  These were not stories handed down through the ages, but my own personal experiences.

Matthew was right.  Some of us doubted.  Even after all we had been through.  My mind was uneasy, and my heart was unsettled.

I hate that I am one of those who doubted. I tried to hide it, but I am sure that Matthew was not the only one who knew.  Jesus knew.  I am not proud of my doubt for it brings embarrassment and shame.  As He addressed us that day, I wanted to fully believe.  My heart and body often waylay the intentions of my mind.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

© 2013 Jessica Sheridan, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

These were His last words. It was the last time that I would see Him. It was the last time that He would see me. He knew the doubts and darkness that I bore, but He spoke the words anyway.

“Go and make disciples.”

Jesus, how am I supposed to go in the midst of such doubt?  Jesus, I am not ready.  I am not able.

And yet they did. All of them to the point of martyrdom.

So having doubt does not exclude me from fulfilling His command.  The disciples’ doubt did not determine their direction, but was a part of their journey.

I am glad to hear that because it has always been apart of mine.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to provide resources and encouragement to emerging adults and their parents.

Debt, Doubt, And Decisions

6 Apr

college-debt

I’m a senior in college and am (Lord willing) about to graduate and be in the real world seeking employment.

I always get asked about my plans for after college and I don’t like it because I have no idea what I am going to do! It is so stressful sometimes to think about loans coming up and living on my own.  I have no idea where I am going to live, what I’m going to do and how I’m going to pay off loans. Continue reading

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