Deconstructing Faith: How to Guide Your Children's Doubts

May 16, 2024

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Today's question says, "We raise our daughters seven and eight years old in the reformed tradition as children of the Covenant. However, this deconstruction fad worries me, even though they're not on social media. How do I foster an environment in which they feel free to express their doubts instead of looking for answers elsewhere?"


Note: The following is an auto-transcript of the podcast recording.

Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of the Foundation Worldview Podcast where we seek to answer your questions so that you can equip the children that God has placed in your care to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter and understand the truth of the biblical worldview. I'm your host, Elizabeth Urbanowicz, and I'm thrilled that you've joined me for another episode today. Today's question says, "We raise our daughters, seven and eight years old, in the reformed tradition as children of the Covenant. However, this deconstruction fad worries me, even though they're not on social media. How do I foster an environment in which they feel free to express their doubts instead of looking for answers elsewhere?" Really important question. We want to make sure that we are fostering environments in our homes and our churches and our schools where our children are comfortable voicing their questions and their uncertainties and their doubts and just things that are on their heart and their mind, and specifically as this questioner said, so that we are avoiding deconstruction with our children in the later years. So this is an important question for us to think through.

Before we dive down deep into answering this question. If you have a question that you would like for me to answer on a future Foundation Worldview podcast, you can submit that question by going to Also, as always, ask that you would just invest the few seconds that it takes to rate this content if you have not yet done so, and if you already have done so, ask that you would just share this content with others, because our goal here at Foundation Worldview is to equip as many Christian adults as possible with the skills that they need to get their kids to carefully evaluate every idea and your investment in that way really helps us meet that goal.

Okay, so when we're thinking about fostering an environment where our children feel free to express their doubts instead of going elsewhere to look for answers, I think there are a few general principles that we can think through that are just good principles for everyone to follow. And then we need to think through some personality specific principles. So when we think of specifically the children that God has placed in our care, what are things specific to their personality that we need to make sure that we're doing to foster this environment that is friendly towards questions and uncertainties and doubts, just open and honest communication with our children?

So first, the general principles. One general principle that's so important is just making time to foster relationship that God is the God of relationship that from eternity past and for all eternity, future God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, have been and will be in perfect loving relationship with one another. And then God has created us as his image bearers to be relational. In fact, the gospel is all about relationship. It's all about God reconciling us to himself and to one another. So it is foundational that we foster relationships with our children, and one of the primary ways that we need to do this is through time, time together.

And so I think that really time is one of the main ways in which the enemy keeps us and our children from God and from God's people. That we in the West are just on this giant hamster wheel to nowhere that for some reason we feel like our children must be involved in ballet and in soccer and in swimming lessons, and in this club and that club. Now, some of these things can be beneficial. However, if they're taking away time from actually developing relationships with our children, then they are not worth the investment. So we need to make sure that we're intentional at fostering relationship through the time that it takes. Are we having family dinner together every night? Are we actually sitting around the table and praying together and eating together? There's something sacred about breaking bread together, and that is an intentional time of fostering relationships. So we need to make sure that we are fostering these relationships.

Another really important thing to do to foster these relationships is to have activities where we are working towards common goals. This is something that just used to naturally happen in families before the Industrial Revolution, that when families were working together in a common trade, they were working together towards a common goal. Where once the industrial Revolution hit, work was taken outside of the home and parents were taken, specifically fathers were taken outside of the home and no longer was the whole family working together towards a common goal. So it's important that we develop these common goals to work towards something with our children so that it's not just that we're entertaining our children. So whether it's serving together in our local church or in another place in our community, or whether it's working on a family project, something where we're working together towards a common goal is so important.

And then something that I've mentioned multiple times before in the Foundation Worldview podcast is a key element to any healthy relationship is confession and repentance because we are sinners and what do sinners do? Sinners sin and sin always cuts down relationship. So we need to practice confession and repentance that when we sin against our children, we're confessing of that sin and repenting before God and before them, and that then when they sin against us and against one another, that we are walking them through that confession and repentance process. So that is foundational. We need to have solid relationships with our children if we are to cultivate an environment where they're comfortable asking questions and expressing doubts. A great ministry to follow, especially as your children are heading into the teenage years, and I know it can be more confusing to figure out how to foster relationships, is the Visionary Family Ministries led by Dr. Rob and Amy Rienow. They do a lot on cultivating positive relationships with your children, stemming from the biblical worldview. So highly that you check out Visionary Family Ministries.

Another general principle is we need to model for our children asking questions and finding answers. That when we're reading through Scripture with our children, that we should ask questions like, I wonder what this means, or I didn't know this, or What are your thoughts on this? So that they know that it's okay to ask questions, that it's okay not to know the answers. We don't want to model us always having the answers one because that's a lie because we don't have all the answers. We're still learning and we're still growing, and we're still asking questions, and then we just want to model for them so that they get used to asking really good questions and being okay with not immediately having every answer. Once we've modeled this, then we can model, okay, how do we go about finding the answer to this question? Just teaching them how to research. Well, a couple of different places that are great to teach our kids to go to is Bible commentaries. What do different Bible scholars say about this question that we have or on this topic that we have. A couple of great online places to go are the Got Questions website. They have answered, I think hundreds of thousands of apologetic space questions on what Scripture teaches about different things. And then also the Bible Thinker Ministry run by Pastor Mike Winger. Those are great places to go and to teach our children that, Hey, these are good resources to use.

Another general principle in this process I think is discuss discerning what is the actual question behind a question, because our kids are going to have lots of questions in their mind, and they're going to face lots of questions both within the church and out in the culture. And so to train them to look for, okay, what is the actual question here?

Now, nowadays, it's really popular to question the Bible because the Bible talks about slavery and it does not condemn certain forms of slavery. Now, if you're interested in more information on what the Bible has to say about slavery, we have a whole podcast about that, and we'll link to that in the show notes. I don't have time to go into all of that today, but that is a common question about the Bible. Okay, so if somebody's saying, how can we trust the Bible, if God allowed slavery, well, what is the real question there? What is the person really asking? Well, if someone is saying, how can we trust the Bible, if God allowed slavery, the question there is, is God good? And so we want to train our kids to ask, oh, okay, so that's really the question. Is God good? And then taking them through the biblical narrative to look for the answer to that question that yes, God is good, and how do we know that and where do we see that in creation around us?

Another thing would be the claim - Christianity can't be good because it oppresses women. Okay, so that claim that question, it doesn't mean that Christianity is false, but what is the person really asking here? Well, they're really asking, is God partial towards men, or is Christianity good news for women too? And when we look at the entire biblical narrative, Christianity is incredibly great news for women. And it was really revolutionary at the time in the first century, women were flocking to Christian churches because of the elevated treatment that they've received within the church. And so we want to train our kids to ask, okay, what is the real question behind this question?

Another thing if somebody says, oh, well, has an evolution disproved God? Okay, what is the real question behind that question? Well, the real question is, okay, does scientific evidence point towards life starting accidentally or could everything have come to be without a designer? Okay, so those are two different questions. Does the scientific evidence point towards life arising accidentally? Or the second question, could everything have come to be without a designer? So we want to train them to figure out, okay, what is the question actually behind the question?

Now as I've gone through these three things, the fostering relationships, the model, asking good questions, the discussing the actual question behind the question, if you're wanting more information just on how to do these things, on how to foster relationships, positive relationships with your kids, how to spend time asking good questions and answering good questions and getting your kids to think critically, highly recommend that you check out the Foundation Worldview Parenting Series. It has five teaching sessions. I almost said five hour long teaching sessions. They're not hour long, they're 45 minutes long, five of them that actually walk you through step-by-step. How do you do these things with the children that God has placed in your care? And it was a series that was designed to be done in churches together or with small groups of families. So highly recommend that you check out that series just for more information there. So that was talking about general principles about how to foster an environment where our children feel free to express their questions and their doubts.

Now, we think we need to think about things specific to different types of personalities because children with different types of personalities are going to need different things. For example, if we have a child who is very eager to please, if we have a child who just wants to please us, this is usually a child who's very compliant, who doesn't usually act very argumentatively, usually does what we ask them without any complaining. We know that that child is going to do usually whatever we ask them to do. And so a lot of times they're not going to bring up their questions and they're not going to bring up their doubts because they're worried that doing so will cause us to disapprove of them. So with a child who's eager to please, we need to do all of the things that I mentioned before, but we also need to make sure that we are daily making clear to this child that we love them because God loves us, not because of anything that that child does or anything that child says that because God loves us, we are equipped to love. And so our love for our children is unconditional, that they will receive that love, whether they do things that please us or whether they do things that displease us, that that love will never change. So with children who are eager to please make sure that while you're doing all of these other things, you're also making clear that your love for them is not based on their performance. It's based on the fact that God has loved us and he has equipped us to love them.

Another personality or personality specific trait to think through is a child who might be more hard hearted. So a child who might be the opposite of a child eager to please a child who seems to always be stirring up contention and just doesn't like anything that we have to say and is more obstinate. So for a child like this, it's really important that as we are praying for this child, that we're specifically praying for a softening of their heart because we cannot soften our children's hearts. That is an act that only God can do. And so we need to be intentionally praying that God would soften their heart. And with this type of child, it's really important that we are thinking through intentional ways to foster a relationship with them outside of the ways that we already talked about. We need to think through, okay, what are this child's likes and dislikes? What is this child's love language? How can I communicate love to this child? How can I get involved in things that he or she likes so that they know that I genuinely love them and care for them and want what is best? That these are things that are so important as we're thinking about just creating this environment where our children do feel comfortable to come to us with their questions, with their doubts, with their struggles.

Before we sign off from this podcast, just something that's really important to remember is that ultimately we do not have ultimate control over whether or not our children are reconciled in the relationship to God and faithfully love and trust him all the days of their lives. Okay? So we cannot place that burden upon ourselves because that is not ultimately within our control. At the same time, we can't just cast off any responsibility because as parents, we do have the responsibility to train our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. So we need to take that responsibility seriously while also understanding that ultimately it is not in our control whether or not our children choose to love and trust and surrender their lives to Jesus. So it's this fine balance. Those of you watching and listening who have watched and listened faithfully know that I am not a parent. I'm not married. I don't have children of my own. So I do not fully get emotionally how difficult this is, but I still point you to the truth of Scripture, that we need to take seriously our job to disciple our children, but we need to know that ultimately we are not in control, that we need to be praying for our children and doing all that we can to foster this environment where they're thinking critically, where they know that they're loved, where they're in deep relationship with us, and leave the results to God.

Well, that's a wrap for this episode. But as always, as we leave this time together, my prayer for you is that no matter the situation in which you and the children God has placed in your care, find yourselves that you would trust that God is working all things together for your good. By using all things to conform you more to the image of His Son. I'll see you next time.

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