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Real-life Conversations

Real-life Conversations

“How do we know God is real, Mama?”

My seven-year-old’s question reined in the distracted thoughts running through my mind. Our nightly routine faded into the background as eternity stepped into that moment. I prayed for wisdom and considered how to answer.

I know He’s real based on my years of history with Him. I’ve experienced His provision, witnessed His miracles, and felt His presence more times than I could count. Yet I’ve also asked that same question many times – even after years of knowing Him.

Sometimes our hearts just need to be reminded.

So we talked of how God has answered our prayers and recalled His faithfulness to our family. Then I suggested she ask God to show Himself to her because ultimately, that’s what her heart really needs.

Not just mental facts that support the truth of His Word. No mere history lessons on His miracles in centuries past.

While these disciplines are certainly important, in the deepest crevices of our hearts, we need to discover Him as our God – personal, and relational, and deeply invested in the details of our lives.

We need Jesus to reveal Himself and help our hearts believe.

Several days after our conversation, I noticed her writing in a notebook. Across the top, in second grader handwriting and spelling, she’d titled the page, “How Has God Shown You He Is Real?” Written all over that page was evidence of how my little girl was processing the questions in her soul.

Do questions of faith and morality make you uncomfortable?

They certainly can unsettle me. And yet I’m learning to see them as beautiful opportunities to deepen my relationships with my kids and help their faith become real to them.

Here are a few suggestions for creating a climate in your home which fosters deep conversations:

  1. Welcome any question

Our kids need to know we’re willing to talk to them about anything. No conversations are off limits. Every doubt and question can be shared. They need us to listen to their thoughts, validate their feelings, and sympathize with their struggles, even as we gently point them toward truth.

  1. Affirm them

We often feel shame or embarrassment when wrestling with deep questions. Our soul’s enemy leverages every opportunity to hurl his accusatory darts – “Real Christians don’t doubt. Good boys and girls don’t ask such questions. What will people think if you tell them what you’re feeling?”

As parents, it’s vital to affirm our kids in these discussions. Remind them it’s good to think deeply and cast the vision for stronger faith as a result.

  1. Be authentic

It’s important to share our own faith journey with our kids. They need to know Christianity isn’t about never doubting, but about taking our struggles to Jesus and learning from His Spirit as our Teacher.

It’s okay not to have all the answers to their questions. We can invite them to pray with us and search for answers together.

  1. Cultivate personal faith

Some issues are black and white. God’s truth is not relative. But there are many areas in Scripture which He has chosen to leave in the gray zone. While we may have strong convictions in these areas based on God’s leading in our own hearts, humility recognizes that other Jesus-lovers believe differently.

Let’s talk through these debatable issues with our kids, sharing what we believe and why. Let’s encourage them to seek God for themselves and follow His guidance as they grow in their relationship with Him.

Real life conversations are the heart and soul of Christian parenting. Let’s welcome them and lean fully on God’s Spirit to lead us in cultivating families of faith.

By: Meredith Mills is a wife and mother to three inquisitive, adventurous, fun-loving kids. She writes about resting in Christ and walking with Him in our everyday spaces at www.MeredithNMills.com. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter @MeredithNMills and on Facebook as @MeredithNicoleMills.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

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