Our kids question us often, and we don’t just allow it, we encourage it.
For many Christian parents, because they don’t allow their children to question them in matters of obedience, they often assume the same mentality should apply to their faith. But nothing could be further from the truth.
One of the most surprising ways that we’ve learned to grow our children’s faith and accomplish successful discipleship in our home is through the power of questions.
Many parents become easily frustrated, frazzled, or fearful when their children start to question their values and beliefs. And they wonder, should I allow my kids to question their faith? They fear the dark unknown of where such questions might lead, and so it’s just easier to avoid them.
However, I would strongly encourage you to embrace questions rather than resist them.
The best way we’ve found to do this is through what we call our ‘open-door questions policy’. No question is off limits in our home. Our children know it, and they utilize this policy often.
Here are four practical reasons we allow our kids to question us.
It Promotes Transparency.
This past week, one of our teens randomly asked us a question about our position on a certain personal standard. It opened the door for a lengthy conversation that might have never otherwise happened.
When questions in your home are both allowed and encouraged, it motivates both you and your children to be transparent about real life issues and doubts that we all struggle with.
As parents, we say we want our children to own their own faith, but if that’s true, we’ve got to give them opportunities to make it their own.
“Don’t shame them with guilt when your kids question your faith or beliefs, shower them with grace.”
If they feel demeaned or put down for asking, they’ll think twice before asking the next time… if there is a next time. But if a parent responds with grace and openness, transparency is both implied and infused into the family culture.
Kids have questions. They will get answers to their questions. The real question is whether or not they’ll get their answers from us or from someone else. Parents, we have home court advantage on this. Let’s not waste it!
It Encourages Accountability.
I want my life to be an open book for my children where they can see that I am the same on Sunday as I am on Monday. And they ought to have permission to question me when they see any level of hypocrisy.
Our kids need to see firsthand that we are more than just good Christian rule followers. We have a much higher purpose as Christ followers.
“You can force your kids to follow your rules, but you can’t force your kids to follow your faith.”