Teach Kids How to Defend Their Faith

By Natasha Crain

When I was a kid in the ’80s, my friends and I never wore helmets while riding our bikes. Did anyone? Times have changed so much. Today it seems that every child on so much as a tricycle needs a skull-preserving, Disney character-promoting protective device.

I resisted the trend at first. My kids will ride their bikes like kids have done for decades, I thought. But one day my son fell off his bike and hit his head shockingly hard. Fortunately he was OK, but the incident awakened me to the reality of what can happen in the blink of an eye. We were off buying helmets for my kids faster than you could say “sizes 3, 4 and 5, please.”

I often remember that stubbornness when I encounter objections to the importance of teaching kids how to make a case for and defend their faith. (This is called apologetics.) “Sure, we can say the right things,” one mom commented. “But kids still make their own choices.” She effectively questioned apologetics the same way I questioned bicycle helmets: Do we really need this stuff?

Yes, kids will forge their own path, often making decisions that won’t correlate with how we tried to influence their spiritual life. But no dedicated Christian parent completely resigns from the faith-development process. We’re all going to do something to protect our kids’ faith.

But how far should we go in protecting our children spiritually? Scripture places a high value on teaching God’s truths every day (Deuteronomy 6:7-9). And just as we match safety gear to the physical hazards children face, so our spiritual protection should fit the secular world kids live in.

Equipping kids with an understanding of apologetics is an important part of that. It enables kids to confidently deal with the intellectual challenges to Christianity, helping them understand how their faith is grounded in reason (1 Peter 3:15).

A lot of people assume teaching apologetics involves some kind of serious event: Dad comes home from work, loosens his tie and announces. “Kids, it’s time to have the talk about . . . apologetics.”

Actually, apologetics is best taught when it’s incorporated into everything you teach about Christianity. Of course, you’ll need to consider the blend of personalities and ages of your kids.

Here are several strategies that will build a foundation for deep faith conversations…


Teach Kids How to Defend Their Faith