If we, as a culture, are to begin thinking critically about our faith and really learn how to defend it in the marketplace of ideas, we are going to have to start forming some good habits.
Did you know that habits are typically more effective than goal-setting?
There is plenty of research to show that when goals are not likely to be followed-through, habits are!
When we make something a regular occurrence rather than wish something was a regular occurrence, we are actually weaving into the fabric of our everyday experience.
One unique problem among Christianity is the breadth of it. Though we all claim to believe in God, there are so many different “flavors” depending on one’s interpretation of the biblical text.
This has had an interesting side effect on our culture: Different habits are being formed depending on the belief system that one adheres to.
Some come from a more liturgical tradition, others based entirely on grace, and some who import their own ideas into the biblical text and make traditions and habits around those doctrines.
There will always be certain disagreements among Christians, but I believe that if we are truly going to dig in and learn how to defend our faith, there are three habits that MUST be a part of every Christian home and family dynamic.
Habit #1: Bible Reading
Joshua 1:8 – “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
The most tragic thing to find in an American (and particularly a Christian) household today is a dust-covered Bible.
The God who hung the moon and has so graciously given life to each of us has given us His infallible Word, and so many of us just leave it to sit!
This sounds like the most basic of habits to form, but I think you would be surprised at how common of a problem this is.
According to this study, 2 out of 5 American adults read the Bible only once a year (or never).
Factor in that just reading the Bible has nothing necessarily to do with actually being a born-again Christian, and we’ve got a few problems on our hands!
We must heed 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Without Bible reading (and by reading, I really mean intentional in-depth Bible study), we will not be able to give a proper defense for what we believe.
After all, we’ve got to know it before we can defend it!
Make it your personal mission to spend more time in God’s Word this year than last year. Start small if you must, but start!
Casual reading is good and should be continued, but really get in and dig out the meat to be found next time. Challenge yourself to know more about God every day.
After all, if you’re a Christian, you’re going to be spending a lot of time with Him in the context of Eternity! Might as well get acquainted with Him now.
Habit #2: Question Asking
Luke 11:9 – “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
I recently heard a man say, “The truth is not afraid of questions.” What a statement!
It would be terrifying to hold a worldview that could not stand up to scrutiny, and I’m glad Christianity is not that way!
For centuries, humanity has been trying its best to learn the mysteries of God and to find out His will and His ways.
Of course, His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8), so we can not know anything He does not reveal to us! Nevertheless, seekers are asking genuine questions about how they can know God today, and it’s very much so our job to be there for them!
In order to do that, however, we are going to have to ask some questions of our own. Historically speaking, many denominations and areas of Christianity have not invited in the “questioner.”
They say things like, “just trust God.” And I agree with that! We should trust Him–but there are times when He does aim to reveal things to us, and it is okay to ask and seek what God means and wants.
Parents–encourage your kids to ask questions. This will help them to know that we have a defensible faith, and will help you to improve your defense!
Sunday School teachers–encourage your students to ask questions! Allow them to do so in front of the group or anonymously, but let them see (especially the younger generations) that is okay to have questions, and they are able to be answered. They can then share these questions and answers with their siblings and parents!
Habit #3: Defense Preparation
1 Peter 3:15 – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
Lastly, we must be sure to teach our kids how to defend their faith and develop their critical thinking skills.
By this I mean at least a few things:
- We should teach them in what manner they should treat those with questions.
- We should teach them how to respond based on the type of question that was asked.
- We should teach them how to move from simply answering a question to presenting the gospel.
[clickandtweet handle=”” hashtag=”” related=”” layout=”” position=””]Information is good, but it requires wisdom when putting into practice.[/clickandtweet]
Preparing to defend the gospel does not have to come at the collegiate level. This article is mainly dealing with the home, and as such, is where this particular training should be carried out!
As my kids grow older, we will begin talking about these things as a part of our natural conversations.
As tough as culture is now, I cannot imagine what it will be in just a few years when they are going through some of their most delicate developmental stages.
With worldly teaching invading our schools as early as Kindergarten, our kids MUST be at the ready. They need to know where we stand on issues such as homosexuality and transgenderism because the culture is dangling it in front of their faces!
It is true, right now in this country, that a child is given the liberty to decide if they are a male or a female before they can cross the street by themselves.
This is a major problem.
I believe, that for Christian families, the solution is indeed threefold: More Bible, more questions, and a proper defense.
Questions? Feel free to comment below and start the discussion, or click the blue button on the right (desktop only) to ask a question with a voicemail. We will do our best to answer in an upcoming post. Thanks!