9/16/2008 02:31:00 pm

Room for Doubt

Posted by Unknown |

I've been thinking a little bit lately about doubt and families with super-spiritual parents.

Over my time in youth ministry I've come across a number of young people who have been struggling with doubt. Some of them have super-spiritual parents who love Jesus. These young people often feel too scared to tell their parents how they're feeling. Sometimes it's because they're worried how much they'll hurt their parents when they tell them. Sometimes it's because they don't want their parents trying to convert them. Sometimes it's just because they don't think their parents will understand.

Sometimes doubt can be such a lonely place.

I think it's great that there are parents out there who are so into their faith that their kids can't see any doubt in them at all. On the other hand I wish parents could find a way to allow their kids to be real about where they're at. How can parents make sure their kids know they're going to be accepted and loved, wherever their at? And how can parents be people who are able to help, and encourage, and comfort in times of doubt?

I've not really figured this out, I'm not a parent.

As a youth minister I know that when young people of faith share their doubt with you, it's both special and painful. Special because they have trusted you with something that is very personal. Special because my job is faith, so to tell the youth minister you're not sure if he's got it right means that they feel probably safe from getting judged. It's painful because you don't want people there. You want people to be able to believe and trust in the love and promises God. It's painful because you know that apart from prayer, talking and listening there's little you can do. You can't grow faith in others, it's God who gives faith and God who takes it away.

I assume that for a believing parent, to hear about doubt from their kids, is probably bitter/sweet on a much greater scale. But it's gotta be better to be involved than to be kept out all together.