Parenting a Skeptic

I have another skeptic in my life. A teen who has questioned God since he was four. He’s one of the smartest kids I know. Like book smart, human smart, common-sensical smart too.

Super smart.

While he digs deep in theory and science, respecting discovery and the most complex ideas, the kid can see through inauthenticity and the most contrived ideas.

He’s not going to buy religion or doctrine because I said so. Actually, he’s not going to buy it because the Bible says so.

As his parent, I have to take great care when he begins to ask questions about God, knowing he’s usually asking to prove God wrong due to a recently presented simplistic idea or conclusion about Him.

Long ago, I was under the impression that every question about faith and God must have a definite answer. I bought into the practice that aplogetics should be crafted and memorized as much as Scripture. You know, my “witness” was at stake if I didn’t have it all neatly laid out to win folks to Jesus. When I was a young mom of toddlers, I remember getting itchy in my skin when I proselytized my children. Some of the stories and explanations seemed so…contrived. I blew it off as my own fleshy discomfort.🙄

Lately, I have begun the journey of shifting my spiritual paradigm where I enter worship with God to celebrate His Mysteries, not explain them away.

It’s been exciting and daunting and a little unraveling. Some of those explanations I shared with my toddlers? Certainly err on the contrived side after all. How did I get trapped in such a square box of religion when we have such an out-of-the-box God?

I am so thankful that mystery has been elevated in my walk with Christ. I don’t have to depend on easy language or justified explanations to share God with the skeptics in my life. I can share what I have learned-in-progress, and I can share that I don’t know all the answers.

Honestly, my best conversations about God with my teen are when I have to say, ‘I don’t know’. God isn’t misrepresented, and my teen stays present. And saying ‘I don’t know’ to tough questions feels more authentic for me as a parent, a wife, and a child of God. Otherwise, I run the risk of misrepresenting God. There is much danger in that. Much sorrow in that. How easily could I shutdown the conversation with my skeptics for good by my certainty and reliance on my own reason?

Ending the conversation now is premature and just not worth it.

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