Space to Doubt

by Dan Goldschmidt

 

In their book Growing With, Kara Powell and Steven Argue share some findings in a survey conducted by the Fuller Youth Institute that included questions about doubt and faith. What they discovered is the following, “…opportunities to express and explore their doubts were actually correlated with greater faith maturity. In other words, it’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith; it’s silence.”

 

Working with middle school students, I hear all sorts of questions and doubts about faith, students who question what they have been taught. What I have come to discover, lines up with those findings that those questions of doubt are not indicators of a lack of faith, but instead indicators of a faith that is becoming more personal and real. And that’s a good thing!

The beautiful thing about those questions and doubt is that it is the catalyst that connects what they are taught about faith with real world application of that faith.

For example, it connects God’s love and goodness, with caring for others. It connects our need for Jesus, with a desire to tell others about Jesus. It connects what we are taught about God’s forgiveness with our call to forgive others.

 

Hopefully, as a parent, you are encouraged by this, that those questions being asked aren’t a sign of your failure to raise your kids with a knowledge and understanding of God, but of their growing maturity of faith.

 

So here is your challenge for next time you see doubt from your children: Let them know that doubt is okay, help them find the answers they need, and show them how to trust God in all situations.
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