Ok, here's a doozy ...
In my Top 10 List for Parents of Adult Children, point #4 is ...
Be safe about faith.
In Christian homes, for some reason, this topic is especially prickly.
Many of us love having little kiddos, who skip happily to church, sing little ditties of the faith, love learning about Jesus, carry their bibles around in cute little book covers and thus give their parents tangible "proof" that the faith is being passed along in good form.
Alas, those little ones grow up. And develop questions. Doubts. Their own opinions, darn them! They become oppositional at times. They no longer ask us what to believe. They start to sing their own songs. Church attendance becomes a battle zone. Jesus an argument.
This can be a scary time for parents for a whole host of reasons.
One of the most toxic sources of fear for Christian parents is the fear that our kids will walk away from our faith.
This fear can make us unsafe when our growing-up kids -- and grown up adult kids -- start to question core truths of the faith. Or when they decide to walk away for a season. Or when they read books or take college courses that push them to challenge views we have simply taken for granted as "true."
When this kind of fear meets normal, young adult faith development, a toxic kind of relationship-killing stew can start to bubble.
I want to spend a few posts here pondering what we can do to become safer people for our young adult kids to talk to about faith. Any part of faith: from doubts to fears to anger to new ideas to old ideas to wrong ideas to atheism to changing denominations to church attendance to ... you name it.
How can you and I become safe?
How can we keep our fear at bay?
How can we trust our kids' faith development more than our own manipulation of outcomes?
How can we trust the goodness of God to play itself out in the lives of our young adults, rather than allow our anxiety to sit in the driver's seat?
FYI - I don't have the answers to any of these questions ... all I have is the guts to ask them.
More soon ..