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How to Talk to Your Kid, Teen or Young Adult About God

Several years ago a friend asked how she could broach the topic of God with her teenager. She was a new Christian, so church attendance hadn’t been part of their family routine, although her kids had joined her recent visits and liked it. Then, out of the blue, her eighth-grader complained that he no longer wanted to attend church. Wisely, she asked her son “why?” but found he had no concrete reason. She knew she stood at a crossroads–one most Christian parents face at some point.

She wanted her kids to love God, but…

She didn’t want to pressure.

She wanted to talk to her kids about God, but…

She didn’t want to make her family feel weird.

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I understood her dilemma. Spiritual conversations haven’t always been easy for me. This might seem like an odd confession from a Bible teacher and pastor’s wife. But it’s true.

When JP and I first started dating I dreaded spiritual conversations, largely because I felt intimidated by my lack of knowledge compared to his. With people I cared for deeply, I feared talking about God because so much was at stake.

In retrospect, I wavered between being 1)super intimidated and 2)hyper invested. Neither allowed me to talk about God in a way that was just plain normal. As a result, I probably made a whole lot of conversations about God weird.

I suspect you may be nodding your head, thinking, Yep. I can relate.

And yet, I knew then–as you know now–talking about God is important. Especially with those we love, like our kids.

So, how do normal people talk about God in a normal way?

When my friend came to me for advice about how to broach the topic of God with her son, she asked one simple question; the best one, really.

“Where do I start?”

I thought a moment before asking a question of my own. “Have you ever told your son your story?”

“What do you mean?”

“Does your son know what led you to explore a relationship with God after years of neglecting one? Does he know why you decided to become a Christian? Or how? Does he know how your relationship with God changed your life? How it changed you?”

Donna Jones
Donna Jones
A national speaker and pastor’s wife, Donna Jones travels the U.S. guiding women to the wisdom they need, for the life they want. She’s the author of Seek: A Woman’s Guide to Meeting God and Taming Your Family Zoo, and has been a guest on numerous radio and television shows including Focus on the Family and Good Day Dallas. Donna’s a sucker for strong coffee and cute shoes. She’s the proud mama of three wildly funny young adult kids, who frequently sit on her kitchen counter, just to chat. Connect with Donna at www.donnajones.org or on Instagram @donnaajones.

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