My husband enjoys watching “prepper” shows, where people spend significant time and money preparing to survive long after a disaster strikes. While most people simply throw together an obligatory three-day emergency kit, preppers ready themselves for various crises.
Likewise, Christian parents take different approaches to preparing for their child’s spiritual emergencies. While some parents are “preppers,” many parents haphazardly throw together an emergency kit for responding to their child’s faith crisis. The “kit” might include relying on church youth programs or finding a book that will answer their teen’s complex spiritual questions. This approach is equivalent to a three-day emergency kit in that it’s often inadequate for long-term survival of one’s faith.
Even in-depth programs like the Truth Seekers club I started at my church can only do so much to prepare kids. Ideally parents would equip themselves for various spiritual crises that their child may face.
This “prepper” mindset begins by educating yourself in theology and apologetics. Make the growth of your own mind a priority so you’ll be better prepared to respond to your child’s faith crisis. Encourage curiosity about deeper spiritual questions so you won’t be thrown off balance when your child asks difficult questions.
Keep in mind that this training is done “in the trenches” of the real world, where you can capitalize on teachable moments rather than rely on a book or a curriculum. Investing in creating your own intellectual capitol helps your children learn how to do the same and reach adulthood with their faith intact.
It’s never too early to begin preparing to handle a child’s crisis of faith. It can start with a theology book, an apologetics podcast, or an online course through Reasons Institute. Consider today how can you become your children’s first line of defense in a spiritual emergency.