If you find it challenging to talk with your teen about God and spiritual issues, you are not alone. It's not that parents don't want to talk about faith with their kids, but rather that they don't know how to get started. Here are five practical suggestions to get faith conversations started in your home.
1. Be yourself. You don't need a seminary degree to talk to your kids about God. You don't have to speak like a pastor giving a sermon. Just be yourself in conversations with your teenager. Share your understanding of who God is and why He matters to you in a way that reflects the real you.
2. Don't limit your faith conversations to Sunday mornings. Don't get caught in the trap of compartmentalizing faith issues to certain days or times. Let you kids know that spiritual issues are important in your life all of the time! Don't go overboard, but make faith issues an ongoing discussion with your family.
3. Let your kids catch you in the act of doing something spiritual. Spending time alone with God is great, but how will they know about the value you place on spiritual disciplines if they never see you engaged in them? Let your kids "see" you involved in these disciplines. Your actions teach your teenagers much about your faith, and likely communicate more than your words.
4. Look for natural opportunities to engage in faith conversations. Be on the lookout for opportunities along the road of life where issues almost beg to be discussed in light of your Christian commitment and faith. Try utilizing news items and entertainment media sources as springboards for faith conversations.
5. See yourself as a "fellow-learner" rather than a teacher. Taking the posture of a "fellow-learner" takes much of the pressure off of you and sends the message that you don't claim to know everything about the Christian faith. It's truly healthy when your teen asks a faith question that you need to reply with, "I don't know the answer. Let's figure it out together."