17 Ways Your Kids Will Encounter Challenges to Their Faith

By Natasha Crain

In conjunction with my book coming out in March, I’ll be doing several speaking events and seminars. In those events, I’ll be explaining to parents the key faith challenges that their kids will encounter, and what they need to do to equip their kids with a faith that’s ready for those challenges.

Last week, one of the event coordinators sent me a couple of questions that her prospective attendees had sent in response to the outline of my talk. The parents who had seen the outline wanted to be sure I included information on how kids will encounter challenges to their faith. In other words, it’s one thing to have a general understanding that challenges lurk in the world, but it’s another thing to be able to put your finger on what, specifically, we’re talking about.

Today I want to give you a bunch of very practical ways your own kids will encounter challenges to their faith. There are many others, but this is a list to just get you thinking. If you don’t believe your kids are being challenged on their faith (or will be soon), I pray this opens your eyes.

1. Your kids’ own thoughts.

Who has never had doubts about their faith simply based on their own life experiences? Even if you kept your kids in a tiny bubble for 18 years so they would never encounter an external challenge to their faith (something neither possible nor desirable), questions would still naturally arise. How do I know an “invisible” God is actually there? Why is there so much bad stuff in the world if God is good? Why am I trapped in this tiny bubble? The list goes on.

2. Other kids.

With fewer Christian adults in America, there are now fewer kids being raised as Christians as well. Just as we want to raise our kids with a belief in Jesus, most atheists want to raise their kids with a belief that God doesn’t exist. If your kids are in a public school, they will certainly hear conflicting comments from other kids about Christianity…and friends are powerful influencers.

What if you send your kids to a private Christian school? They’ll probably encounter fewer challenges from friends, but that doesn’t mean they won’t encounter challenges at all. My own kids go to a private Christian school and last year a Kindergartener told them that only her mom believes in God—she believes “in science,” like her dad.

Wherever you engage with other kids—school, extracurricular activities, and even church (see number 17)—your kids may very well encounter challenges to their faith.

3. School teachers.

While public school teachers are supposed to be objective, it should surprise no one that such objectivity doesn’t always play out in practice. I received an email from a parent a few weeks ago saying that her daughter mentioned something about her faith in class one day and the teacher replied, “You believe all that stuff?” The girl was embarrassed and the mom who emailed me wondered how to talk to her child about the issue of respecting authority figures (like teachers) while understanding they may also be wrong.

4. School subjects.

Evolutionary biology is an obvious subject where kids will be challenged by what they learn, given the apparent conflict with the biblical creation account. But issues of worldview arise in many other subjects as well…

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17 Ways Your Kids Will Encounter Challenges to Their Faith