My children are still young, so it’s easy to spend little time thinking about teaching them apologetics. We get lost in the hustle and craziness of homework and baseball and tests and “Do I have any clean socks?”, and well, just getting dinner on the table each night is a challenge. Yet as they are getting older, I want to teach them the Biblical truths that will equip them to withstand spiritual attacks and answer the tough questions that they might someday face from their peers.
What is apologetics? The word apologetics comes from the Greek word apologia found in 1 Peter 3:15 and means “defense.” The Bible says that we’re to always be ready (thus the name of this ministry) to give a “defense” (an apologia) to people who ask us about the hope we have as Christians.
Do you think ten-years-old is too young to begin conversations about apologetics? How about six? The fact is, it’s never too early! Children will face challenges to their faith often beginning in grade school and into high school, and it continues on the college campus. Our children need to be taught how to defend their faith and answer skeptical questions, and it doesn’t have to be something left to Sunday school teachers. It starts at home, and yes, it can even be fun!
Apologetics 101: Start By Asking Them Questions
If you want to know what they think about God, where they are and what they do and don’t understand, ask. Ask them. It always amazes me how open my children will be with me when I ask them important life questions. When we sit with them and ask them questions, they begin to do the same of us. One day last week, our eight year-old asked us, “Why do people sometimes hold signs that say ‘Homeless’ and ask us for money?” This gave us an incredible opportunity to talk with him about suffering, and how Jesus was a friend to the poor, and how we can love the homeless in many different ways.
When we ask, they ask.
Prepare Them to Answer Others’ Questions
I married a bookworm. So, my husband has a growing list of resources to help our kids understand the foundational truths of Scripture, as well as some great book to answer some of the really tough questions about our faith.
Lee Strobel, author of The Case for Christ, has written several books and curriculum series in apologetics geared for kids, tweens and teens. The Case for Christ for Kids, The Case for Christ – Student Edition, The Case for Faith – Student Edition, The Case for a Creator – Student Edition, and The Case for The Real Jesus – Student Edition have all recently been updated and are written in kid-friendly language appropriate for younger readers.
Do you know how your kids would answer friends with questions like: Was Jesus really born in a stable? Did His friends tell the truth? Did He really come back from the dead? The Case for Christ for Kids not only provides children with the answers to questions about Christ’s existence, miracles, ministry, and resurrection, but offers it in such a way that they will be equipped to tell others.
Strobel’s books are incredibly helpful in answering the tough questions children ask about who they are and where they came from and who Jesus is, interweaving science and faith, compelling stories and facts to support the truths in the Bible.
We love to read books like these with our children, as they open doors and they get us talking about the really hard stuff. Of all the things my husband and I want our children to take with them when they leave our home, a deep relationship with Jesus and understanding of the Gospel is what we want most. This is why we are helping lay their spiritual foundations now by teaching our kids apologetics. And we want God to use us to help mold and shape our children – as we pray together, ask and answer questions, and read and study about who He is, and why He loves them so.
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Do you have any stories about times when your kids’ faith has come under attack and how they responded? At what age do you think it’s time to start teaching kids apologetics in the home? Come join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you!