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Bullet Point Parenting

What To Do When Kids Doubt God

You tuck the kids in bed, read a story, and as you get up to turn the lights out, your 7-year-old asks, “Was Jonah really swallowed by a whale? That’s hard to believe.”

It’s a fair question. Many parts of the Bible are hard to believe — God creating the world in seven days, Moses parting the Red Sea, Jesus coming back from the dead. When our kids start questioning what we believe, how do we help them navigate their doubts?

What To Do When Kids Have Doubts

  • Be honest.

The Bible is pretty unbelievable, and it’s OK to admit that. God is so amazing that He can do unbelievable things (Matthew 19:26).

Information without revelation—God-given understanding—doesn't teach faith. Just because God isn’t easily explained doesn’t make Him any less real.

  • Pray with them and for them.

God is the best person to go to for wisdom in parenting and every other area of our lives. Praying with our kids and in front of our kids allows us to hear from God on life’s tough questions. It also sets an example for our kids, showing them that the best place to take tough questions is to the One who has all the answers.

Pray aloud so your kids can hear you. When God answers one of those prayers, point it out and talk about God’s faithfulness, even if He doesn't answer it in the way you wanted Him to (Psalm 100:5).

  • Point to God’s work in everyday life.

Seeing God’s work today makes it easier to accept the miracles of the past. Point out the unbelievable ways you have seen God work in your own life and in the world around us. For example, if God can cause the sun to rise on time each morning, why can’t He also make it stand still (Joshua 10:13)?

 Let your kids’ questions be an opportunity to dig into the Bible and overcome your own doubts and fears.

Tell the stories of how God has been faithful when you’ve had doubts. Tell the stories of seemingly bad situations God has worked together for your good (Romans 8:28). Your story is part of your child’s history, and one of the gifts we can give our kids is to help them see how God has been working miracles in their lives even before they were born (Deuteronomy 11:18-21).

Telling our kids of the miracles we have with our own eyes allows us to assure our kids that God can do anything — including the miracles we read about in the Bible.

  • Set an example for believing in things we can’t see.

How we live will show our kids whether we believe what the Bible says is true. When our kids see us living out what we believe, they will be more likely to imitate our faith in their lives.

Many kids struggle to believe in things they can’t see. When we take risks on faith — praying bold prayers and believing big dreams — it shows our kids what trusting and following God looks like.

  • Don’t be afraid of hard work or heart work.  

Often, when we shut down our kids’ questions about the Bible, Jesus, and faith, it’s because we’re scared of our own doubts and unbelief. We’d rather ignore the questions than face them. And over time, our kids will learn to do the same.

Let your kids’ questions be an opportunity to do the hard work of digging into the Bible and overcoming your own doubts and fears. Look into the Bible together. Pray together. It's healthy not to pretend to have all the answers. Being a parent who knows God and trusts Him is the best example we can give our kids.


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