by Hannah Nelson, Kids Minister
Don’t be afraid of the tough questions. Recently I had a great conversation with one of my kids (teenager) about how human sexuality fits in with being a Christian. I could have shied away from the topic, changed the subject, or given her an unsatisfyingly vague answer, but instead I chose to engage the conversation head on. And you know what? It was a great opportunity for me to hear her opinion, have her hear mine, and compare both with what the Bible teaches.
What do you do with hard questions about faith? They don’t just come from our kids. We have parents, grandkids, friends, coworkers, maybe even strangers that ask us about things to which we may not have the answer. Or we know the answer, and it might offend them! I think there are four main responses people typically have to these tough questions: 1) Change the subject, 2) Get tongue-tied and not know how to even approach the subject, 3) Give the safe “Jesus” answer, or 4) Actually engage in the conversation.
The first three options really get us nowhere. Avoiding the topic communicates either insecurity or an unwillingness to talk about hard subjects. Psalm 119:89 says “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven.” We have security knowing that God’s words are true, that they never change. Our security holds strong in the God who never changes. So, when we run away from a hard conversation, we are allowing our own feelings to have more power than the Word of God. It’s easy to get flustered when you’re caught off guard with a question that is a hot-topic. Perhaps that is because we haven’t wrestled through it enough to be confident in our own convictions. That’s ok! That is part of life: growing, learning, seeking God, and allowing Him to impress His truth in our hearts.
We dive right into the shallow end of the faith pool when we just give the “Jesus” answer. I’ve heard criticism against Christians stating that we are “uneducated” or that Christianity is for the “weak-minded”. Don’t believe the lie that faith is always and only blind! I mean, there are scholars who have studied the Bible intensely and written books upon books. But more than that, we were all given minds with which we can think and reason. The easy “Jesus” answer just doesn’t work. We have to actively and compassionately participate with people in conversations.
When my daughter and I were discussing what the Bible says about human sexuality I didn’t necessarily have all the answers. I based my thoughts on what I have read in the Bible, and on the way Jesus interacted with people. I wasn’t afraid of the question because I know that the Truth of God’s Word will always stand. Jesus said in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We can be certain and secure that we believe in a God who is steadfast and faithful. Do you remember, back in your high school years when you learned about absolute value in math? Let me remind you…when you have a number (whether negative or positive) inside of two vertical lines you have to find the absolute value. For example: |-4| equals four and |4| equals four. I think of Jesus in that way…He holds the “absolute truth” in His word. The Truth never changes, no matter how much we study it, or talk about it, or question it, the Truth remains the Truth.
So, don’t be afraid of the question(s)! Read the word so you actually know what it says. Pray and ask for wisdom. Breathe and welcome the opportunity to be a tool by which others will hear what God may speak through you.