In my recent post about starting faith conversations with kids, I pointed out that it’s one thing to acknowledge we need to be intentional in fostering the deeper conversations of faith; it’s another thing to have a plan for what those conversations should be. I said that I would draft a bucket list of conversations I want to have with my kids before they leave home someday and share them in a post. Here they are!
A few notes on this list:
1) These are questions that I feel are important for any Christian to consider and eventually be able to answer. The possibilities are endless, but after reflecting on my own experiences and questions, these are the ones I want to prioritize with my kids.
2) After you look over these questions, ask yourself this: Would my kids be able to answer these questions simply by watching how I live my life, or would I need to intentionally find ways to talk to them about these things in order for them to be addressed? While there may be a few that are answerable by observation, I think you’ll see that overwhelmingly these are questions that require a parent to intentionally initiate conversations (the point of my original post on this issue).
3) Most of these questions are BIG questions. They are questions that, if asked point blank, would probably only be understandable to older teenagers. That doesn’t mean that they are 1) intended to be answered a single time or 2) intended to only be discussed with my kids when they are almost adults. In almost every case, these are questions that will be answered over the course of several years, with age appropriate ways of learning at each stage. I absolutely believe I am able to contribute to my kids’ understanding of many of these already at age (almost) 4. When you consider your own bucket list of questions, therefore, don’t be dissuaded by age. Write the questions you want to ultimately answer and work backward from there on how to start teaching those answers at whatever age they are now. (For example, we had a conversation just the other night about how we need to learn to love God a little differently than others because we can’t see him, touch him, hear him, etc. We acknowledged how strange that is and started talking about how we love God through our actions, our prayers, our worship, etc. This all is an age-appropriate way of addressing my question below, “What does it mean to really love God?” As they get older, we can look at deeper and deeper meanings of that.)
60 Faith Questions I Hope To Answer Before My Kids Leave Home
- What should the role of the Bible be in a Christian’s life?
- How do you study the Bible beyond just reading it?
- What does it mean for the Bible to be inspired vs. inerrant vs. other views?
- What is the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament?
- Why does the “Old Testament God” seem so different than the “New Testament God”?
- Why would God use a chosen people (Israel) to reveal Himself?
- What are the theological and scientific challenges to the creation account, and what are the scientific challenges to evolution?
- Why doesn’t God interact with us today the way He did over the periods covered in the Bible?
- How can we know the Bible is reliable – historically and theologically?
- What are some of the most noted apparent contradictions in the Bible and what are possible explanations?
- What is the difference between descriptive and prescriptive passages in the Bible?
- What does the Bible say about heaven and hell (and how does that differ from the popular conceptions of both)?
- What does the Bible say about the exclusivity of Jesus with regard to salvation?
- Why does it matter whether or not Jesus was literally raised from the dead?
- What are the most common objections people raise against the validity of the Bible, and how can a Christian respond?
- How should you and shouldn’t you look for Biblical answers to “modern” questions (e.g., abortion, death penalty, stem cell research, etc.)?
- How does the Bible differ from other “holy” books?
- Why is the Bible so “weird” sometimes?
- How often should you pray?
- What should you pray about?
- How do you listen to God in prayer?
- What is the point of thanking God for things He didn’t “directly” give us?
- What does it mean to ask God for forgiveness?
- When should you ask for forgiveness?
- How should you ask for forgiveness?
- What are ways to use a prayer list to bolster your prayer life?
- Why are many prayers “unanswered”?
- How do you become comfortable praying out loud?
- What are ways to pray for other people?
- Why does it matter if Christians go to church (can’t you just be a Christian at home)?
- Why does consistency of going to church matter?
- Why does God want us to worship Him?
- What is the spiritual significance of each element of worship (e.g., singing, the sermon, communion, etc.)?
- What should a Christian look at in selecting an appropriate church?
- Why are there so many Christian denominations?
- What does it mean to serve others?
- What are ways to serve others?
- What kinds of major needs are there in our area?
- What kind of major needs are there in our country?
- What kind of major needs are there in other areas of the world?
- What is the relationship between witnessing for Jesus and serving specific needs?
- How can you put others first daily?
- What does it mean to really love God?
- What does it mean to really depend on or trust God?
- Why doesn’t God reveal Himself more obviously in everyday life?
- What is the Holy Spirit?
- Does your choice of friends matter to your faith?
- What would be the impact to your life if you marry a believer vs. non-believer?
- How do you get out of a pattern of sin?
- What are appropriate ways for a Christian to manage the relationship between politics and faith?
- Why do some people suffer much more in this life than others?
- How should Christians make faith-based decisions about entertainment choices?
- How important is it for Christians to share faith with others?
- What are some key ways to share faith with others?
- What are the big differences between Christianity and the world’s other major religions?
- What is the difference between being a “good” person and being a Christian?
- What does it mean to live a Christ-centered life, and how does that compare to simply being a “nominal” Christian?
- When people talk about “God’s will,” what does that really mean? Does God have a will for your life specifically, or only for the world at large?
- How does a Christian approach the topic of homosexuality?
- How do you get back into “spiritual shape” if you have fallen away from God?
I would LOVE your suggestions! What are other big questions you want to answer for your kids? Also, if any of these piqued your own interest and you would like me to write a post on the topic, please let me know in the comments! I’m always interested in your suggestions!