Lots of factors can contribute to the doubts and spiritual questions teenagers face. Some are logical arguments posed by atheist friends, like “Where is the scientific evidence that God exists?” Some are philosophical questions stirred up by hard-to-face tragedies, prompting thoughts like, “If God is love and is all-powerful, then why did he let this (fill in the blank: terrorist attack, tornado, school shooting, and so on) happen?” Sometimes the most difficult doubts stem from the difficulty of grappling with personal pain; your teen may be wondering, “I’m hurting—where are you, God?”
This week’s lesson helped teenagers think through unhealthy doubt—doubt that’s like a roadblock—and the possibility of spiritually healthy questions—questions that serve as a pathway to deepened faith. Share some of your own faith-strengthening journeys through doubt. Also talk with your teenager about our study, asking questions like:
- What do you see as the key difference between faith-killing doubt and faith-strengthening questions?
- What questions or doubts have you had to face or work through so far in your faith?
- Read John 20:24-31together, Why do you think John put verses 30,31 right after this story?
Though watching your child move into a season of doubt can be scary, remember that questioning can also serve as a powerful catalyst for spiritual growth. Jesus may be using doubt in your child’s life to help him or her dive deeper into honesty and may draw your child to know him more intimately through the process of searching out answers.