It’s fairly accepted in ministry now that doubts and questions about faith don’t cause faith to crumble on their own. It’s the act of not helping young people find the answers they are seeking, and allowing Satan to provide his false answers that will pull them away from God.
Even though most in ministry are aware of these studies, it is the rare church that provides regular opportunities for kids and teens to ask questions and express their doubts. Which means, parents have to take a more intentional role in uncovering and answering their kids’ questions and doubts about God, scripture, the church, etc.
Before we go any farther, it’s important to emphasize that you personally don’t have to know all of the answers. Sometimes, you will, especially with younger children. Sometimes, there isn’t an answer, other than that God hasn’t explained it to us thoroughly yet and we will understand better when we are in Heaven. Many times though, you will need to research the answer yourself and that’s actually great. Why? Because you can teach your kids how to find and use reliable resources to answer any questions they may have when they are older. If you don’t know any reliable resources, ask your minister for a few. (Apologetics books often cover a lot of very common questions.)
It’s critical that you don’t just make up answers to avoid looking ignorant. An inaccurate answer, an answer with faulty logic or other weak responses can also be used by Satan later to undermine anything that was true in the answer. If you need a little extra time for research, say so. Or you can ask your kids to give you their questions a few days in advance so you can make sure you are giving solid answers.
Give each child a special notebook or journal. If your kids have a phone, encourage them to set up a special section in the Notes app. Explain that you want them to jot down any questions that they think of….things they don’t understand (which is how kids often express doubts) about God, the Bible, Christianity, etc. Encourage them to take their notebooks to church and jot down questions that come to mind during the sermon or class. Ask them to jot down questions that might come up during the school day or during free time, too.
Then have regularly scheduled question times, where you sit down as a family and discuss everyone’s most recent questions. How often this is will vary depending upon your kids. It needs to be consistent enough though, that your kids believe you really will address their questions, so they will continue to jot them down.
Obviously, this all takes time and intentionality, but you and your kids will benefit from discussing their questions and doubts rather than having others answer them later in ways that will pull your kids away from God.